Against the backdrop of incessant hike in the price of cement nationwide, the West African Student Union, WASU, Thursday, condemned the practice, saying it poses negative effect on the nation’s economy.
Speaking at an international press conference in Abuja with the theme, “The Cause and Impact of Cement Price Hike on West African Economies”, WASU President, Comrade Romans Pillah said Nigeria could no longer afford the increase in the price of cement as the country is barely recovering from the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
He added that the recent price hike places unnecessary burden on the masses, stressing that there should be stability in the prices of essential commodities like cement as it is an integral commodity in the development of infrastructures in developing nations like Nigeria and other West African states.
Pillah noted that the country has an abundance of limestone which should count as a comparative cost advantage in the production of cement as well as the price.
The union demanded that cement should be sold at N1, 800 per bag or the current price of N2, 450 per bag.
He said, “WASU, hereby, demand powerfully that price of cement be reviewed to status quo (N2, 450 viz $5 per bag) with immediate effect so as to ameliorate the burden on the people.
WASU is also demanding that cement distributors across the sub-region must with immediate effect, comply with the above demand, as the present range of prices of cement in various parts of Nigeria is too outrageous.”
He, however, commended Dangote Group for its corporate social responsibility via scholarships, youth empowerment, infrastructure, and as its contribution during the outbreak of the Global pandemic.
“WASU wishes to appreciate the doggedness and commitment of the Dangote Group to the industrialization of the West Africa sub region that has contributed to job creation and employment,” he added.
Pillah further stressed that WASU would inaugurate a taskforce committee to ensure compliance to the 30-days ultimatum delivered by the union.
“WASU wishes to announce Comrade Romans Pillah as the Chairman of the “Price Monitoring Committee of WASU” with the aim of checking and agitating for balanced prices of essential commodities in the sub-region; with a 30-day ultimatum from today to all players in the cement supply value-chain to comply, or have the union to contend with.
We call on the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, to look into the need for efficient price control in the West African sub-region as regards to essential commodities and ensure unification of price within the sub-region. We wish to state the need of currency unification to ensure that economic stability within the sub-region.
“We, therefore, call on all student leadership in the sub-region to rise up to the defense of the poor masses”, he added.