The price of cement yesterday rose to between N1,200 and N1,300 in Lagos and other parts of the country.
Before the hike, a bag of cement costs about N1, 600 marking over 35 per cent rise in the cost of the raw material used in the building and construction industry.
Reacting to the development, 2nd Vice President Vice President, Nigeria Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr. Kunle Awobodu said the increase may have been as a result of cost of production and the devaluation of the naira.
He lamented that with the hike, the cost of construction will increase while the need for cost variation in all ongoing contracts and abandonment of projects may become inevitable, adding that it may also discourage people from embarking on new projects.
He said: “Clients, contractors and quantity surveyors may have disagreements due to price variations. New price on old contracts in a competitive bidding may eventually lead to sub-standardisation in construction.”
A cement distributor in Arepo, Ogun State said the new price came as a surprise, adding that it many have been occasioned by the current economic down-turn. Another distributor at Ajah area of Lagos, Mr. Kunle Salami said he has stopped his requests for more supplies as he is not sure of his customers reactions.
He decried the increase and urged the government to intervene either in terms of policy for the manufacturing sector or the provision of constant electricity in order for them to thrive.