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Manufacturers Reduce Cement Price to N8,000

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By David Torough, Abuja

Cement manufacturers have said a sharp rise in their operating costs is responsible for the increase in the price of the commodity.

They agreed to bring down the price between N9,000 and N15,000 to between N7,000 and N8,000 per 50kg depending on the location nationwide.

It said that prices could be N7,000 in some parts of the country owing to closeness to the supply of the product.

This was part of the agreement between the Federal Government and the cement manufacturers as well as its association.

The Minister of Works, David Umahi led the meeting which had the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite in attendance, saying they would intervene on issues of gas and bad roads among other issues affecting the rising price of the critical material in the construction sector.

The cement manufacturers including Dangote Cement Plc, BUA Cement Plc and Larfarge Cement Plc and other stakeholders issued a communique after meeting with the ministers.

Umahi said smuggling, bad roads, high energy costs, and the forex crisis caused the high price but stressed that manufacturers had expressed their readiness to bring down the prices in the future.

He said, “The cement manufacturers have noted to the government that the present high cost of cement in the market is very much abnormal in some locations nationwide.

“Ideally, they noted that cement price, and retail price to a consumer should not cost more than between N7,000 and N8,000 per 50kg bag.

“Therefore, the government and the cement manufacturers, which are Dangote Plc, BUA Plc, and Lafarge Plc have agreed to have their cement price nationwide between N7,000 and N8,000 per 50kg pack of cement, depending on the location which means that this price depends on the locations. 

“Going forward, the government has advised manufacturers to set up a price monitoring mechanism to ensure compliance with the prices that are set today.”

The Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment lamented the high rate of smuggling to the neighbouring countries.

She noted, this was responsible for the scarcity and hike in the price of the produce and assured that the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu is committed to tackling the menace.

Uzoka-Anite said, “The amount we recommended is N7000 to N8000 but we have other factors. This is the first time that manufacturers are saying they will go and manage compliance in this distribution network.

“We have issues of smuggling not just for cement, but even food across the borders and this has led to scarcity. We have engaged with the NSA who has committed to tackling this. We’ll hear from the NSA soon on this’’.

The manufacturers expressed readiness to bring down the price as soon as the Federal Government interventions are fulfilled.

The Executive Director, BUA Group, Kabir Rabiu admitted that the high cost of cement in neighboring countries made smuggling lucrative, saying that the cost of cement in Chad and Cameron is about N15,000 in the countries’ monetary value.

Rabiu assured that his company would bring in 6 million tonnes of cement into the market to crash the price.

He said, “The high cost of cement in neighboring countries is making smuggling lucrative.

“The cost of cement in Chad and Cameron is about N15,000 equivalent there, and distributors in the North East instead smuggle products there.

“They do that not through official channels and the government is not benefiting from their export. Unless that is sorted, we’ll continue to have pressure from those markets.

“We have promised the minister that we are going to bring in 6m tonnes of cement into the market and that is going to crash the price. There is a big disparity between demand and supply in Nigeria. I think some plants have issues that have reduced production.

“We are at the peak of cement demand but supply seems less so there is going to be a crisis and that is why we are working hard to bring more products to the market to reduce the pressure of demand and supply in the market.”Government expects the agreed price to drop after securing government’s interventions on the challenges of the manufacturers on gas, import duty, smuggling, and better road network.

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MMIA Customs Command Posts N45.2b, Beats 2023 Q1 by 111.7%

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From Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos

Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has announced a total revenue of N45,23 billion for the first quarter of 2024.Making this disclosure in his review of the command’s activities in the period under review, Compt.

Mohammed Yusuf said the figure exceeded the N21,36 billion collected in the corresponding period of 2023 by N23,86 billion, representing 111.
7 percent.He noted that though important sectors of the economy were adversely affected by the unstable exchange rate, among others, the command remains resolute at collecting the much-needed revenue for the government, and to ensure the safety and well-being of the citizenry by curbing smuggling and facilitating legitimate trade.
“Similarly, the command recorded an appreciable increase in its anti-smuggling drive, which led to the interception of 50 pieces of 9mm live ammunition discovered in a joint examination conducted by the service and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA),” he said.He listed the first quarter seizures to include 1,164kg sea cucumbers, 58kg of donkey genitals and 17 cartons of tramadol – all with a cumulative Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the N5.8 billion, adding that the items contravened some of the provisions of NCS Act 2023.He explained that the command has maintained an “open-door policy and resolved a lot of issues of common interest with concerned stakeholders,” while thanking the critical stakeholders, including sister-agencies and the media, for their collaboration and synergy in the discharge of the command’s statutory mandate in the state.Yusuf commended the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashiru Adewale Adeniyi, and his management team for their continued support, just as he thanked the officers and men of the command, urging them to remain focused and steadfast in their assigned responsibilities.

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Bandits Kill 30 Vigilantes in Niger Village

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From Dan Amasingha, Minna

Dogon-Dawa Community in Mariga Local Government Area of Niger State was thrown into anguish over the weekend as no less than  30 members of its voluntary security outfit called Yan Sa Kai were killed by gunmen.

 DAILY ASSET  authoritatively gathered from a source in the hard-to-reach area that the incident occurred on Saturday morning.

The source disclosed that the bandits invaded the community in large numbers engaged the Yan Sa Kai in a clash.

Our correspondent gathered that the Yan Sa Kai had trailed the bandits to their hideout when they were  unexpectedly ambushed leading to casualties from both sides after a serious exchange of gunfire.

The source who pleaded anonymity said that there were casualties on the bandits side but could say the number.

The chairman of Mariga Local Government Area, Abbas Kasuwar Garba confirmed the incident.

He expressed concern that this has happened when residents are prepared for farming work.

Garba appealed for calm saying government would investigate the circumstances leading to the unfortunate incident.

Efforts to get the response of the Niger State government and the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Wasiu Abiodun at the time of filing in the report proved abortive.

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Omobayo Takes Oath as Dep Gov after Shaibu’s Removal

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Edo State House of Assembly yesterday removed Philip Shaibu as the Deputy Governor of state.Shaibu was impeached by a vote by 18 out of 24 members of state Assembly following the consideration of the report of the seven-man panel set up by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Daniel Okungbowa.Immediately after his removal, 38-year-old Marvellous Omobayo was sworn in on Monday as the new Edo Deputy Governor to replace his predecessor, Philip Shaibu, who was impeached from office.

The Chief Judge of Edo, Justice Daniel Okungbowa, administered the Oath of Office on Omobayo at the Government House in Benin.
This is the first impeachment in the history of the state.In attendance at the House sitting were 20 members, including the Speaker, Blessing Agbebaku, but 18 members voted for the impeachment while one member abstained.
The process commenced with the Clerk of the House reading out Order 10-presentation and consideration of the seven-man panel report of allegation of gross misconducts against the deputy governor listed in the Assembly’s items for consideration.The Majority Leader of the House, Charity Aiguobarueghan representing Ovia North East 1 moved that the report be considered. His motion was seconded by the Minority Leader, Eric Okaka, Owan East.The Speaker assumed chairman of the committee of the whole House to consider the report, after the Majority and Minority Leaders moved and seconded a motion to that effect.Donald Okogbe, Akoko-Edo II rose to object to part C of the report but his objection was overruled by the Speaker.The House resolved that the allegation of perjury against the Deputy Governor was not proved but held that the second allegation of disclosure of official secrets was proved.The Majority and Minority Leaders of the Assembly moved and seconded a motion, respectively that the Speaker revert to his position as Speaker of the House.The Majority Leader moved that with regard to section 188 subsection 9 of the Constitution, the report be put to vote.Eighteen members voted in support of the impeachment while one member abstained.The Speaker said more than two-thirds majority of the House voted and endorsed the impeachment.He then declared, “I hereby from my seat announce that the Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu stands impeached.”

Omobayo appointed by Gov. Godwin Obaseki was immediately sworn-in.

He hails from Akoko-Edo Local Government Area in the same Edo North senatorial district with Shaibu.

Omobayo was born on July 19, 1986. He is an engineer with a professional experience in the oil and gas sector.

He had his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Public Administration, both from the University of Benin (UNIBEN).

He is a registered member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).

After taking oath of office, Omobayo pledged allegiance to the governor and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He said, “In the few critical months left to tidy up the work of this administration, my job as the Deputy Governor is clear and well cut out. I understand it very clearly.

 “In line with the oath of office to which I have just subscribed, I make a solemn pledge to do all in my power, with God’s guidance, to live up to expectations.

 “I will give all it takes to meet the expectations of my principal, the party, and above all, the good people of Edo State.”

The ousted Deputy Governor lambasted members of the Edo State House of Assembly who impeached him.

Shaibu said the lawmakers gave themselves to an act of betrayal and subversion of justice.

The former Deputy Governor made this statement in a video he posted on his X account shortly after the impeachment.

He said, “To the members of the Edo House of Assembly, who have chosen to forsake their oath of office and participate in this charade, I say this: history will judge you hardly for your betrayal of the people who elected you to represent their interest.

“But know this, you do not have the power to silence the voice of power and truth.”

He described his removal as assault on democracy: “I call upon the judiciary and all relevant authorities to intervene and uphold the principles of justice and fairness.

“It is with heavy heart yet a resolute spirit that I come before you to address the recent events that have unfolded within our dear state.

“I denounce in strongest terms the illegal impeachment by the Edo State House of Assembly over trumped-up charges, this is not just an attack on me as an individual but on the very democratic principles that we hold dear.

“It’s a dangerous descent into dictatorship, a threat to the foundation of our democracy. Let it be clear that this impeachment was hatched because of my ambition to contest the Edo Governorship election 2024 under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“My good people of Edo State, thank you all for standing by me under these troubling circumstances as the Deputy Governor of Edo State.”

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