Africa’s leading cement manufacturer, Dangote Cement Plc, has announced drastic reduction of the prices of its cement.
The new price reduction announced by Mr. Devakumar Edwin, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, GMD/CEO, of Dangote Cement, pegged the Dangote 32.5 cement grade at N1,000 per 50 kg bag, while the bigger 42.5 grade would go for N1,150 per bag.
Mr Edwin, in a statement read at the end of a management meeting held on Saturday, November 1, 2014, said that the new prices were exclusive of the Value Added Tax, VAT, representing about 40 per cent discount on the prevailing market price of the product currently sold for N1, 700 irrespective of the grade, across Nigeria.
Edwin added that the decision was in line with the company’s commitment to the nation’s need for the development of infrastructure and to aid the federal and state government’s effort to reduce the housing deficit in Africa’s largest economy.
“we recognize the need for an increased rapid response to the huge infrastructure and housing deficit in the country, and one of the ways of addressing the issue is bringing the price of building materials down to much more affordable levels especially cement which is within our control as part of our contribution to the transformation agenda of the Goodluck Jonathan administration and the attainment of key milestones in the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs.
“Since the commencement of the implementation of the backward integration policy for cement in the country over 12 years ago, the local production capacity of the product rose from less than three million metric tonnes per annum to about 38 million metric tonnes per annum. During the more than 12-year period of the backward integration policy, nearly $20 billion has been directly and indirectly injected into the Nigerian cement industry with Dangote Cement Plc accounting for 60 per cent of that spends.”
According to the GMD/CEO, Dangote Cement Plc would continue carry out its corporate social responsibility, CSR with its various business initiatives and will continue to adjust its pricing system in Nigeria’s best interest.
Meanwhile, the timing of the initiative has confounded industry watchers, who say that from experience, the cement market is on the verge of entering the accelerated demand phase as the raining season is tapering and the dry season which provides the opportunity for increased construction and building activities is setting in.