May 20, 2024

Price Hike: Don’t frustrate our probe — Reps tell Cement manufactures


…as c’ttee grills COREN, NIBRRI and FCCPC over increase in price

Gift ChapiOdekina, Abuja

The Joint Committee of the House of Representatives investigating the arbitrary increases in the Prices of Cement by Cement Manufacturers has issued a stern warning to the Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria over refusal to appear before the Committee.

This is also as the Committee also said that association should desist from using frivolous court injunction to interfere or halt the ongoing investigation by the House on the arbitrary increase in the price of Cement in the country.

Chairman of the Joint Committee Hon.(ESV) Gaza Jonathan Gbwefi gave the warning to the association and other key stakeholders during the opening remarks at the investigative hearing on Monday at the National Assembly.

According to Gaza, the persistent absence of the cement manufacturers who the Committee had summoned twice and they have refused to comply is an affront to to the powers of the National Assembly as enshrined in the sec 88 of the 1999 Constitution and sections 4 and 7 of the Legislative Houses Powers and Proviledges Act.

The House Committee on Solid Minerals had received a letter from Tunji Abayomi and Co; the representatives of the Nigeria Employees Consultative Association (NECA), who claimed representation for all witnesses summoned.

The Chairman of the Committee further stated that letter refers to the court rulings of the Federal High Court FHC/ABJ/CS/458/2012 which is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court under SC/458/2017.

He said: “I want to first underline that these rulings are about a separate hearing conducted in the 9th Assembly by the House Committee on Labour and Productivity and House Committee on Interior.

“As such is the preceding ruling of the Supreme Court. It is equally to address the flagrant misuse if the judiciary to delay, interrupt or interfere with the Legislative process.

“NECA attempts to use it’s association and membership to cast an umbrella of impunity, which is a direct afffront to the Nigerian people and its government”.

At the investigative hearing, the joint committee had invited and grilllled the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria COREN, the Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute NIBRID and the Federal Competition and Consumers Protection Council FCCPC on the abitrary increase in cement price.

Some members of the Committee, Hon.Afam Ogene and other members querrued the agencies on the reason behind the incessant price in cement price.

Chairman of the House joint committee Hon.Gaza frowned at the representative of the CEO of the FCCPC Ms Boladale Adeyinka for not doing enough to protect the consumers of cement in line with the agency’s establishment Act.

He also asked the agency to go back rework and represent the 4 pages document submitted to the House on their investigations on cement price increase in recent time