CBN begs cement, steel manufacturers to reduce products’ prices
The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has urged manufacturers in the construction industry to bring down prices of building materials in the interest of the Nigerian masses.
Mr Emefiele made the appeal in a statement on Thursday in Sokoto, at the inauguration of a three million metric ton cement plant by the BUA Group.
The CBN governor urged cement manufacturers to pay more attention to satisfying domestic demand.
“Permit me to seize this opportunity to appeal to our manufacturers in the construction sector to take urgent action in bringing down the prices of building materials in Nigeria,” said Mr Emefiele. “Indeed, there have recently been calls by construction companies, urging cement and steel manufacturers to do something about the skyrocketing prices of these two essential items in the construction sector.”
According to him, the sector is one of the major sectors in the economy helping to create employment and boosting growth in our country.
“We are aware that some of our cement manufacturers are producing for both the domestic and export market, but we urge them to pay more attention to satisfying the domestic needs so as to bring down prices,” said the CBN boss.
Mr Emefiele assured the manufacturers of the apex bank’s determination to always provide the needed support to improve their capacity.
He added that the CBN had not provided foreign exchange to anyone for the importation of cement in the last seven years.
“The CBN wishes to reiterate its determination to provide needed support for importation of spares, plants and equipment needed to increase production capacities of our cement plants in the country,” explained Mr Emefiele. “The decision to restrict access to foreign exchange for imports of 43 items that can be produced in Nigeria, helped to boost the production capacity of cement in the country from 30 million metric tons in 2014 to 60 million MT in 2021.”
Consequent upon the investment by local businessmen into the cement manufacturing sector, Nigeria had been able to conserve billions of millions of dollars, disclosed Mr Emefiele.
“No dollar from our external reserves has been spent on import of cement into the country in the last six years,” he stated.
The CBN governor further mentioned that the investments had created several thousands of jobs across multiple sectors of the economy.
“I am particularly delighted to see that the painstaking efforts and ingenuity of Nigeria’s private sector is yielding bountiful fruits in broad daylight. These efforts, such as the one being displayed here today by the BUA Group, are critical complementary ingredients to reducing unemployment and boosting production activities in our country,” Mr Emefiele further stated.
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