We have not increased cement price in 15 months - Dangote

The Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development & Capital Projects, of Dangote Group Devakumar Edwin, said the company has not increased the price of cement per bag since December 2019 (15 months) despite the rising cost of other materials and commodities in the country. 

Briefing editors at the headquarters of the company in Lagos on Monday, the executive director pointed out that sudden surge in demand for cement by operators in the real estate/ construction industry, volatile forex, sliding Naira against dollar, high transportation cost coupled with other logistics were responsible for low supply of cement, leading to shortage in the market and high price by retailers. 

According to him, when cement supply gap is bridged, the price impact will be minimized. He clarified that the price of a bag of cement from its factories and plants across Nigeria is N2,450 in Obajana and Gboko, and N2,510 in Ibese inclusive of VAT Market survey by Nigerian Tribune shows that a bag of cement is selling for between N3,200 and N4,000 in Nigerian cities, depending on locations. 

Debunking the rumour doing the rounds on the social media that a bag of 50-killogramme of cement was selling for N1,800 in Zambia and N3,500 in Nigeria, Edwin said it was not true, saying the price of cement in other countries across Africa is higher than the cost in Nigeria. 

According to his analysis, when the price per ton of cement is $119 in Zambia, $145 in Ghana, $159 in Cameroun and $122 in Sierra Leone, it is $101 in Nigeria. He said that anybody peddling the rumour was just out to discredit the company. 

He shared some invoices of various sales transactions of Dangote Cement in Zambia, Ghana and Nigeria as at March 26, 2021. 

He said: “While the price of cement per bag is 131 Kwacha in Zambia, which is actually an exchange of 22 kwacha per dollar, comes to $5.90 per bag, which is $119 per ton. “Invoice of sale transaction in Ghana on 26 of March and the selling price per bag comes to 41.9 cedis, and that’s 5.78 cedis per dollar in exchange rate. If you look at that, it comes to $7.25 cent per bag, which is $145 per ton in Ghana. In Sierra Leone, we have $122 per ton and Cameroun $159 per ton. 

“If you look at our prices here today, in Obajana, the, export rate price is N2,150. In Gboko, the export rate price is N2,450 including all VAT and taxes; and in Ibeshe, it is N2,110. So if you take our cement price at naira to a dollar today it comes to $101,” the group executive director said. 

Besides, the group executive director of Dangote cement said there was no basis for comparing the price of the product when looking at the cost of input, cost of manufacturing and everything from country to country. 

“Nobody is comparing the price of rice, or maize or diesel or petroleum to the price in Zambia. But just because somebody wanted to discredit us, they went to say oh! this is the price,” he said. 

He also attributed high exchange rate, high cost of diesel to rising cost of cement, adding that the company does not have enough capacity to transport cement to different locations in the country. 

According to him, most of the trucks have been trapped in Apapa port, saying they always spent average of two weeks to go in and out of Apapa. 

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