Ce­ment mo­nop­oly is chok­ing hous­ing sec­tor – Haven Homes

Daily Trust - - PROPERTY - By Mo­hammed Shosanya, La­gos

Property firm, Haven Homes Limited is wor­ried that high price and un­avail­abil­ity of ce­ment in Nigeria can slow pace of hous­ing pro­vi­sion, lament­ing that few firms have mo­nop­o­lized ce­ment pro­duc­tion.

Speak­ing on the oc­ca­sion of the un­veil­ing of Haven Homes’ new Lekki Show Home in La­gos re­cently, the Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor/ Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Mr Tayo Sonuga lamented that the price of ce­ment has not only be­come ex­or­bi­tant but the com­mod­ity has also be­come dif­fi­cult to find.

He said, “At the mo­ment, only Dan­gote Ce­ment and La­farge Ce­ment are con­sis­tently pro­duc­ing ce­ment in the en­tire coun­try. For a pop­u­la­tion of 160 mil­lion? That is not good enough, that sort of mo­nop­oly would make the prod­uct to be too ex­pen­sive.

“Ce­ment is too im­por­tant to be left to the va­garies of pri­vate or pub­lic mo­nop­oly. You can­not build with­out ce­ment so the govern­ment can­not re­main silent about this mat­ter. It calls for ur­gent ac­tion.

“I re­ally think the govern­ment should do some­thing dras­tic and ur­gent about the ce­ment mar­ket. In De­cem­ber 2013, a bag of ce­ment sold for N1,650 but now it is sell­ing for N2,200 per bag and yet we can­not even find it read­ily to buy, this is clearly not ac­cept­able, so I would want the govern­ment to do some­thing ur­gent about it,” he said.

Sonuga who said Nigeria needs about 18mil­lion units to bridge deficit gap, said the easy avail­abil­ity and af­ford­abil­ity of ce­ment can­not be overem­pha­sized.

“If the govern­ment at the federal and state lev­els are truly sin­cere and de­ter­mined in their re­solve to ad­dress the hous­ing prob­lems of Nige­ri­ans, this is how they can show it by mak­ing ce­ment not only cheap and af­ford­able but also eas­ily avail­able.

“The en­abling en­vi­ron­ment should be cre­ated for man­u­fac­tur­ers of ce­ment to source eas­ily the in­gre­di­ents they need to pro­duce ce­ment. They should be en­cour­aged so that they will in turn pro­duce cheaper and more af­ford­able ce­ment prod­uct,” he added.

Haven Homes at an im­pres­sive, well at­tended two-day event, un­veiled its ul­tra mod­ern Lekki Show Home at its Richmond Gate Es­tate, lo­cated of Meadow Hall Way, Ikate-Eleguishi in the Lekki Cor­ri­dor.

Haven Homes’ Richmond Gate Es­tate un­veiled re­cently

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