Godwin Emefiele, governor of the central bank of Nigeria (CBN), says the manufacturing companies should put efforts to reduce the prices of building materials in the country to make housing more affordable.
In December 2021, prices of cement rose to N4600 from an average of N3800 per bag in the building materials market.
Emefiele said this on Thursday at the inauguration of the new BUA cement plant commissioned by President Muhammad Buhari in Sokoto.
He urged manufacturing companies in the construction sector to focus more attention on satisfying the domestic needs in the infrastructure sector to reduce the prices of cement and steel.
The CBN governor said the decision to restrict access to foreign exchange for the importation of 43 items, including cement, had helped to boost the production capacity.
While disclosing that the production capacity of cement companies in Nigeria had increased from 30 million metric tonnes in 2014 to 60 million metric tonnes in 2021, he declared that no dollar had been spent on cement importation into Nigeria in the past seven years.
He commended the BUA cement company for its effort in constructing the plant with no external finance, noting that such private sector initiatives were yielding fruits and were critical complementary ingredients to reducing unemployment and boosting production activities in Nigeria.
He said such investments helped to support the CBN’s mandate of promoting stable macro-economic growth, adding that it is committed to collaborating with prospective operators in the industrial sector.
“For those who are willing to invest in new greenfield or existing brownfield projects, the CBN will provide all the support needed, both in naira and dollars needed to import plants and equipment to actualise these investments,” Emefiele said.
On his part, Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto, commended the Buhari administration for its commitment towards revolutionising the manufacturing sector, as exemplified in the cement manufacturing sector, which now provides jobs for Nigeria’s teeming population.
Abdul Samad Rabiu, chairman, BUA Cement Plc and Lawal Bello, chairman, cement manufacturers association of Nigeria (CMAN), lauded the efforts of the current administration and the CBN to boost the economy of Nigeria.