ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – Cement manufacturers under the aegis of Cement Producers Association of Nigeria, have called on the President-Elect, General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), to assist them in fighting corruption in the sector allegedly perpetrated by a cabal “that has been dictating cement policies for personal interests.”
In a tacit reference to popular businessman and President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, they specifically pleaded with Buhari to assist in reducing the price of cement from N2,200 to N1,000 per bag.
This appeal when considered, CPAN said, would be the first dividend of change for Nigerians.
The chairman of CPAN, Prince David Iweta, in a letter to Buhari dated April 3, 2015, congratulating him on his victory in the recently-concluded general elections and obtained by journalists on Wednesday in Abuja, said cement should be allowed to be imported into Lagos, Warri and Calabar.
He said, “This cabal makes abnormal annual profit in the region of N200 billion from cement alone for the past six years while same company partnered with the Federal Government to suspend cement import permit granted by late President Musa Yar’Adua to six companies one each from each of the geo-political zones owing to late President Yar’Adua’s fairness, equity and justice style of governance to guarantee that cement sell at N1.000 per bag to Nigerians.
“We wish to use this medium to appeal to you and your government at inauguration to declare a change of price of cement from N2,200 per bag to N1,000 per bag. This will serve as the first dividend of change which the people of Nigeria voted for. The cement industry after the death of late President Musa Yar’Adua has witnessed the worst height of corruption and injustice for the past six years.
“It may interest the General to know that Nigeria is the country with the highest price of cement in the world. Why? It is worthy of mention that countries that have attained self sufficiency in cement production all over the world sell cement at N500 per bag. But in Nigeria where the Federal Government has claimed success in the cement industry, net exporter of cement is selling the commodity at N2,200 per bag.
“But not a bag is exported since 2012 as claimed. Why? It is a known fact that all West Africa countries, East, North and South Africa sell cement under N1,000 per bag; but in Nigeria, it is selling for N2,200. Why? new foreign direct investors are barred from venturing into the Nigeria cement industry since the past six years. So that cement price will remain high. Why?”
See Below for Details…
April 03, 2015.
Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd)
The President Elect
Federal Republic of Nigeria
LETTER OF CONGRATULATION AS PRESIDENT ELECT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA. APPEAL FOR CHANGE IN CEMENT INDUSTRY CORRUPTION & CHANGE OF CEMENT PRICE FROM N2,200 TO N1,000 PER BAG.
The Chairman in Council, Executives and entire members of the Cement Producers Association of Nigeria CPAN wishes to express with overwhelming joy of CHANGE, hereby CONGRATULATE General Mohammadu Buhari and Prof. Osibajo at their well deserved victory at the 2015 Presidential election.
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We wish to use this medium to appeal to you and your government at inauguration to declare a CHANGE of price of cement from N2,200 per bag to N1,000 per bag. This will serve as the first dividend of CHANGE which the people of Nigeria voted for. The cement industry after the death of Late President Musa Yar’Adua has witnessed the worst height of corruption and injustice for the past 6years. It may interest the General to know that Nigeria is the Country with the highest price of Cement in the World. Why? It is worthy of mention that Countries that have attained self sufficiency in cement enproduction all over the world sell cement at N500 per bag but in Nigeria where the federal government has claimed success in the cement industry and net exporter of cement is selling the commodity at N2,200 per bag. But not a bag is exported since 2012 as claimed. Why? It is a known fact that all West Africa Counties, East, North and South Africa sell cement under N1,000 per bag but in Nigeria, it is selling for N2,200. Why? New foreign direct investors are barred from venturing into the Nigeria cement industry since the past 6years. So that cement price will remain high. Why?
It is an international best practice allowing cement importation at the coastal regions for the purpose of cheap cement for such region instead of transporting the products over a long distance by road. But in Nigeria the reverse is the case? Cement should be allowed to be imported into Lagos, Warri, Calabar. Even with high degree of infrastructure development in Germany and Iran, Cement is allowed to be imported into the Coaster areas of these Countries because it is cheaper by sea in large volume than by road within same Country. But in Nigeria it is the opposite. Why? The reasons for above is perpetuated by a single individual that wish to enrich himself enough so as to buy the Country called Nigeria and dictate the industrial policy of government.
This Cabal make abnormal annual profit in the region of N200billion from cement alone for the past 6years while same company partnered with the Federal Government to Suspend Cement Import Permit granted by late President Musa Yar’Adua to 6(Six) companies one each from each of the geo-political zones owing to late President Yar’Adua’s fairness, equity and justice style of governance to guarantee that cement sell at N1.000 per bag to Nigerians. This great effort was truncated for the selfish desire of a single individual entrepreneur in Nigeria which has led to the product selling for N2,200 per bag as at today which your triumphant entry will cause to CHANGE to N1,000 per bag.
The CABAL is the dictator of cement policies of Nigeria to suites his business empire such that the government issued an oppressive, vindictive and destructive anti-business directives to Nigerian Customs to stop all vessels discharging cement at all Nigerian ports and disallowed all cement carrying cement into Nigerian ports. This decision of government was to favour a single entrepreneur while the 6(six) companies loosed over N200billion, and terminated the employment of over 2million workers. But the industrial dictator is smiling to Nigerian banks with over N200billion every year.
Nigeria cement market is under mortgage to a single individual whose brand sell for N2,200 per bag in Nigeria, while the same company has a cement terminal in Bonaberi-Douala in the Republic of Cameroon where its brand sell for N1,000 per bag. This is the height of lack of patriotism and exploitation of its own people. It is annoying that the huge profit earned from Nigerians at double high cost of cement is being used to develop cement factories in about 5(five) African Countries instead of using the fund to expand the cement industry in Nigeria and export the cement to those countries. This single action is also putting pressure on the small foreign exchange earned from our single source of revenue the crude oil by this entrepreneur thus exporting dollars for these investments from Nigeria. It ought to be exporting cement to these Country from Nigeria and earn the dollars from those Countries into Nigeria to strengthen the Naira.
The government granted and allowed the use of Nigerian ports to build cement factories to make much profit but same Cabal fought companies from using private jetties, while it was against International Maritime Organisation (IMO) policy that heavy industries should not operate at any nation’s port.
They earned billions of wavers, enjoyed special policy that was never enjoyed by any company in Nigeria termed PIONEERED STATUS for cement production in Nigeria amounting to several billions for industries that has be in existence for over 45years in Nigeria, by companies as Calabar Cement Factory, Ewekoro Cement Factory, Shagamu Cement Factory, Okpella Cement Factory, Sokoto Cement Factory, Nkalagu Cement Factory etc. That ought to enjoy Pioneer Status.
It is the height of corruption for a player in a game to be his own referee such that the Cabal was allowed to be the Chairman of the cement levy fund of 20% per ton of the cost of imported and locally produced cement which is now in billion and no one account for that fund.
The shares of joint cement ncompany owned by Nigeria and Republic of Benin was sold to a single person in Nigeria at a give away price without other cement stakeholder in Nigeria being given opportunity.
One of the companies took the Federal Government to Court and obtained judgment of N8billion against the Federal Government which was paid. The Government suffered this huge loss due to the effort of a single individual Nigeria. Such company is still importing at the moment while others are not importing. This is unfair by the government that should give a level playing field to all cement stakeholders.
Mr. President elect, let no one deceive or mislead you, CEMENT will sell for N1,000 per bag for imported cement at 5% duty as it was from General Babangida and President Yar’Adua governments while locally produced cement can sell for N800 per bag. At this price cement producers and manufacturers will smile to the banks.
Late President Musa Yar’Adua, in his wisdom of free corrupt approach and affordable cement price to close the gap of over 17million homes deficit decided to grant import permit to 6(six) companies one from each of the zones to crash and peg cement price at N1,000 per bag. This was quickly terminated after his demise. The price is now N2,200 per bag by the evil hands of CABAL. It will take your firm determination for CHANGE to allow all the companies that were granted licenses that was suspended without full delivery of the quantity contained in the import permit granted to be allowed into Nigeria. Such incorrupt decision will not only lead to the CHANGE desired by Nigerians by buying cement at N1,000 per bag.
That your Government allow full utilization of already issued Import Permit. Thus enabling the companies pay back the over N200billion owed several financial institutions in Nigeria and overseas. This appeal when considered will be the first dividend of CHANGE for Nigerians.
Once again we congratulate you and assure you of our maximum co-operation by ensuring corruption free cement industry by completely wiping out the activities of the cabal and ensure you secure and guarantee cement at a price of N1,000 for Nigerians.
Signed: PRINCE DAVID IWETA