Report says that BUA Cement Plc, at last weekend, increased the ex-factory price of its cement product by N200 per bag.
The cement manufacturer, it was gathered, unveiled its new price regimre from N2,800 to N3,000 per bag.
The latest development is contrary to BUA’s position that it does not have any justification to increase the price of cement as it is currently making enough returns.
BUA Cement, in various statements issued between April 24 and June 18 this year, had refuted claims of increase in the ex-factory price of its cement products by N300 per bag, stating that, “the company had no plans to increase prices of its cement now or in the near future.”
According to a statement issued on April 24, 2021, the company stated that, “the solution was not in an increase of ex-factory price at this period.”
The company, in its statement, had “reiterated its stand that the timing was not right for any increase in the price of major commodities, especially not at this period whilst Nigerians are still trying to recover from the economic consequences brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic – especially for a product for which all raw materials are locally sourced.”
On June 17, 2021, BUA Cement had issued a fresh statement titled ‘No Further Increase in the Price of BUA Cement’ in response to numerous clarification requests from its distributors and the public that the company does not seek to increase the ex-factory price of its cement in the foreseeable future.
“We are aware of the feedback and outcry from the public, and the government on the high retail price of cement in a period of economic recovery. BUA is also of the firm belief that the current retail prices of cement are higher than normal, hence our earlier communication not to increase ex-factory prices in the foreseeable future.
“As a responsible corporate entity, we refuse and reject associations with any actions that are deemed capable of projecting any industry we operate as a cartel. Hence, whilst we respect that the said company has decided to increase their prices, we are not questioning the reason (s) why, but would like to make clear BUA’s position on a price increase.
“The timing is not right for any increase on BUA’s part, and we do not have any justifiable business reason to increase our prices (ex-factory) anytime soon. We therefore urge our distributors not to panic as well as not engage in any arbitrary hike in the retail price of BUA Cement,” the statement read.
Industry sources informed that the BUA policy somersault has generated ripples among distributors, retailers and consumers across the country, with many wondering what could be responsible for what a Lagos distributor, Chief Dickson Nathaniel, described as an ” embarrassing corporate policy reversal”