Ce­ment can be sold at N500 per 50kg – Pro­duc­ers Pen­sion scam: Board di­rects NRC to sanc­tion erring staff

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Kay­ode Ogun­wale, La­gos From Chris Agabi, La­gos

The price of ce­ment in Nigeria is 300 per cent higher than the price of the same prod­uct in coun­tries like Egypt, China, Tai­wan, In­dia, Ja­pan, Nor­way, Turkey, In­done­sian, Pak­istan, Iran, Iraq and oth­ers.

This ob­ser­va­tion was con­tained in a let­ter ad­dressed to the Pres­i­dency and made avail­able to news­men in La­gos, by the Pres­i­dent, Ce­ment Pro­duc­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Nigeria (CPAN), who is also a mem­ber of Nigeria Cham­bers of Com­merce, In­dus­try, Mines and As­so­ci­a­tion (NACCIMA), Mr. David Iweta.

Ac­cord­ing to him, 50kg bag ce­ment in coun­tries that have at­tained suf­fi­ciency in ce­ment pro­duc­tion, is be­ing sold for the equiv­a­lent of Nigeria’s N500, while in Nigeria the prod­uct is sell­ing for around N2, 000.

Iweta said the in­ter­na­tional best prac­tice for ce­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing is for in­vestors to earn In­ter­nal Rate of Re­turn (IRR) in re­gion of 25 per cent, re­veal­ing that Nige­rian ce­ment in­vestors are earn­ing over 150 per cent IRR.

He said: “By this to­ken, all such lo­cal man­u­fac­tures claim­ing large in­vest­ment have since re­cov­ered their in­vest­ments. It is re­gret­table that the price of the prod­uct is hov­er­ing within N1, 800 and N2, 000 per bag. We strongly rec­om­mend that Mr. Pres­i­dent should re­visit this strat­egy by al­low­ing un­ex­hausted li­censes to be fully utilised and con­sider grant­ing more li­censes and abol­ish the in­tro­duced levy of 20 per cent with 15 per cent duty, but re­tain the five per cent duty and five per cent VAT on im­ported ce­ment.”

“This will force the lo­cal ce­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers that are hid­ing un­der the high cost of im­ported ce­ment which at­tracts 45 per cent ex­tra cost com­pris­ing duty, levy, NPA, NIMASA , in ad­di­tion to cost of freight in re­gion of $50 per met­ric tonne. The to­tal ex­tra cost paid on im­ported ce­ment is in the re­gion of N900 per bag. Im­ported ce­ment will sell for N1, 000 per 50kg bag if the Federal Govern­ment re­tains duty and VAT at five per cent on im­ported ce­ment.

The lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers are still at a bet­ter po­si­tion to make N500 profit per bag ow­ing to the fact that they make use of free lo­cal lime­stone and could sell ce­ment for N500 per 50kg bag.” The Board of Di­rec­tors of the Nige­rian Rail­way Cor­po­ra­tion (NRC) has di­rected the sanc­tion­ing of work­ers found to be in­volved in the case of the al­leged N1 bil­lion miss­ing pen­sion funds in the cor­po­ra­tion.

This de­vel­op­ment was se­quel to the adop­tion, in its en­tirety, of the re­port and rec­om­men­da­tions of the cor­po­ra­tion’s man­age­ment on the over N1 bil­lion miss­ing pen­sion funds.

A state­ment from the NRC at the weekend said: “The Board di­rected the NRC man­age­ment to im­ple­ment the re­port and rec­om­men­da­tions im­me­di­ately.”

It would be re­called that an ad­min­is­tra­tive panel of en­quiry was es­tab­lished by the NRC man­age­ment to in­ves­ti­gate the al­leged N1 bil­lion fraud in NRC pen­sion ac­counts.

The state­ment also read in part: “Se­quel to the re­port of the man­age­ment on the Pen­sion Fund and the adop­tion of some rec­om­men­da­tion of the re­port by a Board Sub-Com­mit­tee set up to re­view the re­port, an emer­gency Board meet­ing of the Cor­po­ra­tion was con­vened on 17th April, 2014 at the Cor­po­ra­tion’s Head­quar­ters in La­gos by the Chair­man of the Board, Al­haji Ba­manga Tukur.”

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