Sunday, 28 December 2014

Cement prices skyrocket in Benue State as Dangote shuts its plant.

Cement consumers in Benue state are groaning under the skyrocketing price of the commodity which hitherto rose from 1,400 to 2,500 due to the shut down of the production by the management of the Dangote cement plant Gboko, Benue State.

A visit by Daily Times yesterday to the factory site of the plant at Mbayion, Gboko, one could observe commercial activities paralyzed as a result of grounded operations by the company.

Investigations by Daily Times revealed that the shutdown of the cement plant has to do with the emergence of a cement glut which further rendered the commodity in excessive supply and low demand for cement.

Another factor which also contributed to the shutdown is the low supply of power to run the factory from the public source while it was learnt the management is considering setting up coal plant to stabilize the constant insufficient power supply to the factory.

Speaking on the hardship faced by the community as result of the closure Mr. John Alumun disclosed that the community has become a ghost of itself as more so the residents derive their means of livelihood from the proceeds of the company's activities after the close of the day.

"Since the operations were grounded almost two weeks running life has become unbearable for most family members because most of us rely on the petty trading that we embark upon to fend for ourselves as well as our families" urging the stakeholders to hasten action towards re-opening the plant.

When contacted assistant general manager community relations of the Dangote cement plant Gboko Dr. Bem Melladu stated that over flooding of the market with various cement products is largely due to the problem that led to the closure of the factory.

He further explained that the epileptic power supply by public source also attributed to some of the factors that led to the closure of the plant, he however assured that the management is considering to set up a coal plant which will boost the power needs of the company with view to enable it perform maximally to the production capacity.

Meanwhile, prices of the commodity which hitherto was sold at 1,500 per bag at the retail market has sky rocketed to unimaginable proportion of 1,800 to 2,000 per bag as at the time of filing this report.

It could be recalled that forthnight ago, Dangote cement, Gboko plant shut down the plant, since then consumers of the commodity have been gnashing their teeth urging the management to hasten action in re-opening the factory for business activities to thrive.

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