Dr Titus Okunrounmu, a former Director, Budgeting Department, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has appeal to the Federal Government to remove any obstacles that may be hampering cement manufacturing in the country.
Okunrounmu made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Ota, Ogun.
He said that this had become necessary so as to bring down the price of cement and break the monopolistic power of some manufacturers.
NAN reports that the price of cement had jumped from N2,500 per bag in October 2020 to N3,500 per bag in March 2021.
Okunrounmu said that the federal government needed to find out why some of the cement companies hitherto operating in the country had gone out of operations.
“The federal government needs to investigate the allegation against a cement manufacturing company that it was selling its products at a lesser amount in other African countries than in Nigeria.
“In addition, government needs to find out why many cement companies across the country have shut down their plants,” Okunrounmu said.
According to him, wherever monopoly exists, it always results in products selling at high prices.
The former CBN chief stressed the need for the federal government to break the perceived monopoly in the cement industry so as to bring down the price of the product.
He also called for the removal of any obstacle working against direct foreign investment (DFI) in Nigeria.
“Let the foreign investors come and operate, and when they make profits, government can then tax them,” the former banker said.
Okunrounmu urged the government to create a conducive environment for industries to thrive by making good policies and providing stable electricity and a good road network, among other necessary infrastructure.