13th February, 2012
The price of cement has recorded about 12.8 percent increase in major towns in Delta since the beginning of the year.
An investigation by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) revealed that the price of the product has risen from N1, 950 which it was sold for in December, 2011, to N2, 300 in Asaba, Warri, Agbor and Sapele.
Brands commonly found in the state are Dangote and Elephant and while the current price of the former is N2, 300, the latter sells for N2, 400 in major towns.
The survey also showed that apart from cement, prices of other building materials have also increased, with one iron rod selling for N2, 000 as against its former rate of N1, 600.
Some of the building materials dealers, who spoke to NAN, attributed the increase to the rise in exchange rate of the Naira in international markets and increase in cost of transportation.
Mrs. Oluchi Eze, a cement dealer in Asaba, said that there was an increase in the demand of building materials due to many ongoing projects by individuals and government.
According to her, though many people are building houses and a lot of constructions are ongoing, it has nothing to do with the price of building materials.
“The major cause of the increase in the prices of some of the commodities is the increase in the exchange rate of the dollar and increase in the cost of transportation as a result of the removal of fuel subsidy.
“Before now, we normally spend N85, 000 to load a trailer from Lagos to Asaba but now, we spend as much as N100, 000,” she said.
An iron dealer, Mr. Andy Adigwe, corroborated Eze’s claim, saying that “if Naira appreciates at the foreign exchange market, prices of building materials and other items would drop.”
He said that the cost of buying raw materials for local production of some of the products and the high cost of importation of the finished products were responsible for the situation.
“The exchange rate is telling on us because 80 percent of these building materials are imported,” he said.