Emefiele urges manufacturers to reduce prices of cement, steel

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CBN to stop forex sales to banks
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Emefiele urges manufacturers to reduce prices of cement, steel

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, says the manufacturing companies should put efforts to reduce the prices of building materials in the country to make housing more affordable.

The CBN Governor made the charge on Thursday at the inauguration of the new BUA cement plant commissioned by President Muhammad Buhari in Sokoto.

Emefiele urged manufacturing companies in the construction sector to focus more attention on satisfying the domestic needs in the infrastructure sector to reduce the prices of cement and steel.

He said the decision to restrict access to foreign exchange for the importation of 43 items, including cement, had helped to boost the production capacity.

In December 2021, prices of cement rose to N4600 from an average of N3800 per bag in the building materials market.

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, he declared that no dollar had been spent on cement importation 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 complementary ingredients to reducing unemployment and boosting production activities in Nigeria.

He said such investments helped to support the CBN’s mandate of promoting stable macro-economic growth, adding that it is committed to collaborating with prospective operators in the industrial sector.