The Nigerian Students and Youths Association (NISYA) has asked the federal government of Nigeria to end all forms of monopoly in cement production and distribution in the country.
The group, in a protest in Benin City, Edo state, specifically accused Dangote Cement Company, owned by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, of increasing the price of its product by 100 percent.
It gave the cement company and others 48 hours’ ultimatum to revert to the old price, adding that failure to heed the call would amount to blocking the highway to stop the distribution of cement in the state.
Osemudamen Elvis Ogbidi, NISYA spokesperson, said; “We reject the incessant increment in cement prices. We are suffering in all sectors ranging from education to agriculture, health, and security. Are they saying Nigerians should no longer build houses?
“They increased cement from N2, 000 to N4, 000 in Edo State, yet the raw materials are got from the state.
“You produce cement here, yet the price has been in increased by 100 per cent. In the North, cement is sold for N2, 000 and here in Edo it is sold for N4, 000, while in Abia State, a bag of cement is sold for N6, 000.
“We are calling on the Federal Government to ban all forms of monopoly in the cement industry, if they support other cement companies the way they have supported Dangote, there will be competition in the industry and that will bring down the prices and companies will produce quality products for higher patronage.
“If Dangote does not revert to the old price, we will barricade the Benin By-Pass and make sure every truck is sent back”.