The Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) on Friday appealed to President Bola Tinubu to halt a planned hike of cement prices in January 2024, to protect the built sector from substandard construction.
BCPG, in a statement, said the cement price hike would lead to substandard construction, with increase in building collapse in the nation.
The statement was signed by the National President, Sulaimon Yusuf and the General Secretary, Mrs Adenike Ayanda.
The Guild urged Tinubu to prioritise safety of Nigerians to prevail on cement manufacturers against the decision.
BRANDPOWER reports that the Guild comprises the seven built environment professionals — Surveyors, Town Planners, Architects, Quantity Surveyors, Engineers, Builders and Estate Surveyors and Valuers.
It said there were feelers that cement manufacturers were planning an upward review of cement prices early in January 2024.
“The price of ready-mix concrete will also be increased while the cost of in-situ production of concrete will rise significantly.
“Such an increment, if allowed to take place, will worsen the economic situation of the nation.
“Cement is an essential ingredient in the production of building. Frequency in the increase of its price has impacted negatively in the nation’s housing sector.
“Experience has shown that high price of cement tends to encourage reduction in the quality of building production.
“The consequence of this is the emergence of weak buildings that intensifies occurrence of building collapse.”
The BCPG appealed to President Tinubu to invite cement manufacturers for an urgent discussion in order to forestall the impending increase in price.
“The president needs to interrogate the current N5,700 market price of a 50kg bag of cement, despite the N3,500 price of the product recently promised by one of the cement manufacturers,” it stated.
BCPG said any further increase in cement prices would threaten the ‘Renewed Hope’ Housing Programme of the Federal Government.
“Completion of ongoing building projects might be jeopardised by the impending hike in the price of cement.
“Buildings abandoned during process of construction aggravate the risk of building collapse.
“With the dwindling purchasing power, new buildings might lack patronage and occupants due to high rental value,” the Guild said.
The professional body of construction experts recalled documented efforts of President Tinubu, when he was Lagos State Governor, to curb building collapses.
“It is high time our president paid serious attention to resolving the challenges of building collapse.
“Frequent increase in the price of cement is one of these challenges,” the Guild said.