The founder of BUA Group has pegged the high price of cement and sugar in the country on demand and supply dynamics in the Nigerian economy.
According to the company, the price of cement and sugar is high in the country today because Nigeria doesn’t produce enough, as demand for these products outstrips supply in the Nigerian market.
The company explained that the sugar industry is battling with the same issue with the Backward Integration Programme (BIP) policy in place, as Nigeria has a situation where it has only three players and there is the BIP policy which states that unless you are seen to be doing a plantation you would not be allowed to do sugar refinery.
The company noted that Nigeria has a population of over 200 million people, while cement production last year was under 30 million tonnes. These numbers according to him do not support the assertion that Nigeria has attained a self-sufficient status in cement, and that the country can now start exporting cement
In Nigeria, every day people come up to say we are self-sufficient in cement and that Nigeria can now start exporting cement; it not true. Look at the numbers: Nigeria is over 200 million people today in terms of its population. If you look at the production of cement, last year, we were under 30 million tonnes.
“In fact, last year was higher than the year before, which means that in 2019, we were doing between 26 million and 27 million. I am talking about production, and not installed capacity, which is another thing entirely. I am talking about actual cement production,” the statement said.
To understand these figures, the metric that matters is – cement production to population ratio – which shows the amount of cement available to Nigerians per head. This figure, however, can be compared with other countries.
BUA noted that Nigeria has a cement production to population ratio of about 130kg per head.
While some countries in Africa, with lower production levels, are doing between 170kg to 200kg per head. It stressed that Nigeria has the capacity to produce at least 300kg per head or about 60 million metric tonnes per annum – which is double the nation’s current production capacity
BUA Group noted that Nigeria is actually producing less than other countries in Africa, apart from maybe the Niger Republic, hence the reason why the price of cement is high.