The price of cement in Nigeria has skyrocketed over the past three years, rising a staggering 100 percent to a record high of 7,000 naira per bag. This rapid increase is hitting small construction businesses and affordable housing efforts especially hard across the country.
Back in March 2021, a 50-kg bag of cement sold for 3,300 to 3,500 naira in Lagos and Ogun States. As of February 2023, costs have leapt up to a range of 6,500 to 7,000 naira for the same bag in these areas.
Dangote Cement, Nigeria’s largest producer, suspended exports in 2021 to try to meet local demand. But global spikes in cement demand during the pandemic also played a role, according to Devakumar Edwin, Dangote’s Director of Strategy. He stated that “Nigeria is no exception” to the cement inflation seen worldwide.
Igwe Ukaegbu, head of the Block and Concrete Producers Association in Enugu State, said output and incomes for members have dropped steeply. He urged the federal government to help by granting more cement production licences and bringing costs down.
“Before, one could sell 3,000 to 5,000 blocks in a month; but now, selling 1,000 is very difficult,” Ukaegbu added. Prices in Enugu now average 4,550 naira and top 5,000 in some places.
Industry leaders warn prices could nearly double again to 9,000 naira if concrete road projects move ahead without addressing chronic cement supply issues. They have called for policies to facilitate wider participation and availability in the domestic cement market for Nigerians.