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BREAKING: Federal government speaks on plan to reopen borders

The federal government has revealled plans to reopen the borders to encourage the importation of cement and other commodities if the manufacturers refuse to reduce the prices.

The minister of Housing and Development, Arc Ahmed Dangiwa, stated this in Abuja on Tuesday.

Dangiwa stated that key input materials for cement production such as limestone, clay, silica sand, and gypsum sourced within our borders, should not be dollar-rated.

The minister said the border was closed to the importation of cement to help local manufacturers “but if the government decides to open it back for mass importation, prices of cement would crash and local manufacturers would be gravely affected”.

Dangiwa who called on the manufacturers to be more patriotic said BUA cement for instance “has been willing and is still willing as at the last time he spoke with them to crash the price of their cement, lower than the N7000, N8000 agreed by the manufactures” and he sees no reason why the others cannot do the same.

“The challenges you speak of, many countries are facing the same challenges and some even worse than that but as patriotic citizens, we have to rally around whenever there is a crisis to change the situation.

“The gas price you spoke of, we know that we produce gas in the country the only thing you can say is that maybe it is not enough. Even if you say about 50 percent of your production cost is spent on gas prices, we still produce gas in Nigeria it’s just that some of the manufacturers take advantage of the situation. As for the mining equipment that you mentioned, you buy equipment and it takes years and you are still using it.

“The time you bought it maybe it was at a lower price but because now the dollar is high you are using it as an excuse. Honestly, we have to sit down and look at this critically. The demand and supply should be good for you because the government stopped the importation of cement, they stopped the importation in order to empower you to produce more.

“Otherwise if the government opens the border for mass importation of cement, the price would crash but you would have no business to do and at the same time the employment generation would go down. So these are the kinds of things you have to look at, the efforts of government in ensuring things go well.”

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