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BUA Group worsens Nigeria’s economic woes with hike in cement price

The announcement is contrary to its Sunday October 1, 2023 pledge to slash the price of its 50kg bag of cement from N5,000 to N3,500.

By Valentine Amanze

BUA cement | Image: Google

The BUA Group, one of the largest cement producers in Nigeria, has compounded the country’s economic woes with a hike in the price of cement nation-wide.

The company announced the new price regime without explaining the reason in a letter sent to its customers.

It stated: “Dear Esteemed Customers.

“This is to notify you of a change in the price of our cement by N500/bag. This price adjustment takes immediate effect. Ex-factory prices from both Obu and Sokoto Plants will be N4750/bag while delivered will be N5850/bag except for the North East where it will be N6850/bag.

“Already paid orders will be serviced with no price adjustment. Delivery to the North East will be made only at the new price.”

The announcement is contrary to its Sunday October 1, 2023 pledge to slash the price of its 50kg bag of cement from N5,000 to N3,500.

With the announcement,  Nigeria News Flight gathered that Lagos landlords are considering increasing their house rents using the new cement price as reason.

Also read: Stakeholders to BUA Group: Stop deceiving Nigerians with promise of cement price crash

The new price regime has therefore confirmed what observers perceived as a politically motivated announcementearlier made to coinside with Nigeria’s 63rd Independence anniversary.

Recall that the announcement was made after the inauguration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration on May 29, 2023.

Industry watchers last year had doubted the unrealistic promise of the price slash by BUA Group.

A section of stakeholders accused the BUA Group and the owner of playing to the galary, while trying to impress the new government.

But, BUA was said to have used the slash in price of cement then to ambush the Tinubu administration with the aim of being a sole-supplier of cement to the new administration’s construction projects.

Stakeholders said though lobbying for government’s contract was not a crime, “the manner the BUA Group went about it was suspicious”.

“The BUA Group went for the lobby with the impression of working for the masses and getting in the good books of the new government.

At that time, the priority of the generality of Nigerians was not erecting houses.

“Indeed, people’s priority then was how to survive the harsh economy of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration,” said Dr. Jimoh Akande, a Lagos-based financial analyst and stockbroker.

Besides, the BUA Group has equally increased the prices of its Flour and Spaghetti out of reach of the poor masses.

 Ironically, BUA made N100 billion in six months with only N10 billion tax that came out of its Sugar refinery in Lagos.

The rest are not taxable because they are in a free trade zone called Bundu Free Trade Zone.

Akande also said, “Though the nation’s economy is at the lowest ebb, it does not warrant BUA Group to indulge in arbitrary cement price increase. Other companies such as Dangote are not hiking the prices of products the way the BUA Group does.”

Stakeholders had lamented that “The group’s reduction of the price of 50kg cement from N5,000 to N3,500 last year was even a hoax.

“It continued selling a 50kg cement at N4,500 until February 1, 2024, when it raised it to N6,500.”

Recall that there was protest in Kano at the weekend over the increase of prices of BUA Group’s products barely two months to the Muslim fasting of Ramadan in March.

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