Block and Concrete Producers Association, Enugu State chapter, has decried the continuous increase in the price of cement and other materials used for block production.
Igwe Paulinus Ukaegbu, President, Oriental Block and Concrete Producers Association, Enugu State, said on Saturday in Enugu.
Ukaegbu lamented that the continuous rise of cement price was negatively affecting the production output of their members as well as their income.
He urged the Federal Government to intervene in the situation, especially by granting more persons licenses to produce cement.
According to him, this will bring down the price of cement in the market because the monopoly being enjoyed by the few current producers will be broken.
While admitting that the current brands of cement were good products, Ukaegbu accused them of increasing the prices of their cements without considering its effect on the association as well as builders.
He said: ” The challenge we have is the cost of cement, and even sand. Everything is now costly.
“We are not making sales as we used to do before; so we are suffering. We are praying for government to help us by bringing down the price of cement and other materials.
“Before, one can sell at least 3,000 to 5,000 blocks in a month but now, before you sell 1,000 blocks, it is very difficult.
“The cost of cement in Enugu as at now is N4,550. Some people are selling for N5,000.
“We always use Dangote cement, mainly Block Master. If we do not see Block Master, we use 3X.
“Block Master is the best for moulding blocks, followed by 3X. Lafarge is also okay.
“During the time of Ibeto Cement, the price was down. After the company stopped cement business, the price of every type of cement went up.
“We are praying that the man (Ibeto) will be allowed to come back to business, ” he said.
Ukaegbu also debunked the claim that members of the association were involved in the production of substandard blocks.
He disclosed that blocks produced by the members were always inspected by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
Ukaegbu, therefore appealed for patronage from members of the public, adding that he would ensure that the association members maintain quality in all their block productions.
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