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Emefiele urges cement manufacturers to crash prices

Godwin Emefiele

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has pledged the Bank’s support for the manufacturing sector, and pushed for a reduction in the prices of cement and building materials in the country to make housing more affordable.

Emefiele made the pledge yesterday, in his remarks at the inauguration of the new BUA Cement plant in Sokoto, performed by President Muhammadu Buhari in Sokoto.

He recalled the CBN’s decision to restrict access to foreign exchange for the importation of 43 items, including cement, which could either be produced in Nigeria or for which raw materials could be sourced within the country, saying the decision has helped to boost the production capacity of cement in the country.

While disclosing that the production capacity of cement companies in Nigeria had increased from 30 million metric tonnes in 2014 to 60 million metric tonnes in 2021, the CBN Governor declared that no dollar had been spent on the importation of cement into Nigeria in the past seven years.

He commended the BUA Cement company for its effort in constructing the plant with no external finance, noting that such private sector initiatives were yielding fruits and were critical complimentary ingredients to reducing unemployment and boosting production activities in Nigeria.

Furthermore, he said such investments, which he described as a landmark achievement, support the CBN’s mandate of promoting stable macro-economic growth in the country.

For those who are willing to invest in new greenfield or existing brownfield projects, the CBN will provide all the support needed, both in Naira and dollars needed to import plants and equipment to actualize these investments.

Emefiele therefore assured current and prospective operators in the industrial sector that the CBN is ready to collaborate with them in enabling the development of a viable manufacturing sector in Nigeria.

He said: “For those who are willing to invest in new greenfield or existing brownfield projects, the CBN will provide all the support needed, both in Naira and dollars needed to import plants and equipment to actualize these investments.”

He added that the stance was directly in harmony with the resolve of the CBN to create a professional and people-centred Central Bank that will act as a financial catalyst for job creation and inclusive economic growth in Nigeria.

Also speaking, the Governor of Sokoto State, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal commended the Buhari administration for its commitment towards revolutionizing the manufacturing sector, as exemplified in the cement manufacturing sector, which now provides jobs for Nigeria’s teeming population.

Similarly, the trio of Abdul Samad Rabiu, Chairman, BUA Cement Plc; Lawal Bello, Chairman, Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CMAN); and Yusuf Binji, the Managing Director, BUA Cement Plc, lauded the efforts of the current administration and the CBN in collaborating with stakeholders to boost the economy of Nigeria.

Speaking further, Emefiele urged manufacturing companies in the construction sector to focus more attention on satisfying the domestic needs in the infrastructure sector, with a view to reducing the prices of cement and steel.

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