Dealers and Customers in Kano state have expressed concern over the increase in the price of cement by BUA Cement Plc.
The company has reportedly increased the ex-factory price of its cement product by N200, that is from N2, 800 to N3, 000 per bag over the weekend, a development that elicited fear in the minds of the people in the state, especially the end users.
BUA cement, in various statements issued between April 24 and June 18 this year, had refuted any claims of increase in the ex-factory price of its cement products by N300 per bag.
However, the recent development had indicated that the company had already increased N200 on a bag of a cement to dealers, causing fears that price of the commodity would soon skyrocket from its present N3,600 to N3, 800.
An investigation conducted in Kano on Wednesday indicated that both cement dealers and costumers are in panic that the increase in the price would add to the existing economic hardship on them.
A cement dealer in Kano, Musa Shehu, who sells cement at Sallari Blocks, said he heard about the increase in the price of the commodity but it has not come down to the sellers so far.
According to him, a bag of cement is still sold at N3,550 and N3,600 so far, expressing fear that the increase would soon be effecttive.
He pointed out that the price increase is now at the level of dealers, noting that it would come down to the retailers level and would discourage customers from buying it.
Shehu stated that the increase in the price of the BUA cement by N200 would indeed inflict hardship on buyers and sellers all together, noting that the commodity is now available but if the stock runs out, the price increase would definitely be effective.
“Yes, we heard that the BUA cement company has increased N200 on the price of cement. But, for now, the price of the commodity is still N3,600.
” However, the price now has affected the major dealers but I’m sure it will come down to the retailers. We therefore call on the BUA management to review this decision and reverse the price because it would affect us, as customers will stop buying from us,”
Another retailer, Auwalu Umar, noted that cement normally becomes available and cheaper during rainy season, especially in northern Nigeria, lamenting that the BUA cement company should not have increased the price in the wake of economic hardship.
“Let me tell you, if this increase is effected, i swear to God customers will stop patronizing it. If they stop, we are the one to be at a loss, not them.
“Considering the economic hardship Nigerians are experiencing, increasing the price of cement in this trying times is a bad idea. Let me use this opportunity to call on Alhaji Abdussamad to consider our plea and cancel this increase in price, otherwise, we will loose a number of customers,”
On his part, a retailer, who pleaded for anonymity, lamented how BUA would increase the price of cement without considering the common Nigerians that buy the product for building.
According to him, the price increase would not stop at N200 at the dealers level, noting that it could go up to N4, 000 at the retailers level.
He noted that although the increase is not effective on the buyers for now, if the product become scarced at the market, the price will definitely go up.
Reacting to the development, a major dealer of BUA cement in Kano, who preferred not to be mentioned, expressed anger over the development.
According to him, common citizens would be the ones to bear the brunt of the price increase, noting that retailers would also be affected as they might loose many customers.
The dealer wondered how BUA cement broke its promise it made months ago not to increase the price of the product, noting that the decision always affects end users.
“Ironically, the arbitrarily increase the price with consulting dealers like us who are closer to the common citizens. This decision always affect end users and when it affects end user, we too will also be affected.
” What baffles me is that, whenever these companies decided to increase a price of commodity, they will do it arbitrarily and will hardly reverse it,” he lamented.
The major dealer therefore called on federal government to intervene in order to end the suffering of Nigerians.