High cost of cement, other building materials unacceptable – Housing minister – Newstrends
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High cost of cement, other building materials unacceptable – Housing minister

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High cost of cement, other building materials unacceptable – Housing minister

The federal government has said cement manufacturers are not doing enough to stem the rising cost of cement in the country.

The government said it would not accept a situation where the price of essential building materials like cement continues to rise uncontrollably.

A press statement signed by the special adviser on media to the minister of housing and urban development, Mark Chieshe, revealed that his principal, Ahmed Dangiwa, relayed the message when he summoned cement manufacturers to a meeting at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja yesterday.

Dangiwa expressed displeasure over the steady, recurring, and alarming increase in the prices of cement and other building materials and accused the manufacturers of hiding behind unstable forex to inflict hardship on Nigerians. He described the situation as unacceptable and inimical to the growth of the country, saying that the government cannot accept such illicit price hikes.

He said the incessant hike has overtaken the country in the past few months, which has seen the price rise by over 100 percent, from N5,500 a few months ago to over N10,000 today.

“This represents a 100 percent rise. And it is not only cement; we have also seen near-record high escalations in the prices of other building materials such as iron rods and other fittings. I recall that late last year, BUA Cement announced a commendable reduction in the price of cement from N5,500 to N3,500 per bag. I applauded the gesture, and several other stakeholders did too. But today, the reality is that cement prices are escalating. Clearly, this is a crisis for housing delivery.

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“An increase in essential building materials means an increase in the price of houses. An increase in the cost of building houses means more and more Nigerians can no longer afford to own houses and provide decent shelter for themselves and their loved ones.

“We know that some of the key components of producing building materials, especially cement, are locally sourced, so the recurring disproportionate increase in the price of cement is unacceptable and unreasonable. Key input materials such as limestone, clay, silica sand, and gypsum within our borders should not be dollar-rated. You cannot continue to give excuses and blame it on dollars all the time. The worst part is that other building materials’ manufacturers take a cue from cement manufacturers, and once they see that you increase your price, they do the same as well. Recently, this is happening almost every week, and it has to stop,” he said.

He said rather than make Nigerians bear the brunt in their quest to make profit in the face of slight macroeconomic headwinds, cement manufacturers should be innovative and come up with a roadmap as part of the committee that has been set up to tackle the challenges for the benefit of Nigerians.

While arguing further that the situation poses a threat to housing delivery, which is the main focus of the ministry, the minister explained that if they were planning to build a one-bedroom apartment for about N8 million under the present situation, it will now cost twice that much, about N16 million to build, and lamented that if a Nigerian could afford to own a home for N8 million, it would now be impossible to do so.

Earlier in his address, the minister of state for housing and urban development, Abdullahi Gwarzo, also called on the manufacturers to make some sacrifices in their operations, understanding that they have a corporate social responsibility to stand by Nigeria in difficult times.

“This is not the time to focus too much on profit but on our collective responsibility to the people of Nigeria. Cement manufacturers must realise that, as a government, we have options, but we would not want it to get to the point where we have to use those options because it may not be good for local producers. That is not to say we do not have options. The Federal Government placed a ban on cement importation in a bid to empower you to flourish, but that cannot happen at the detriment of Nigerians,” he said.

In the meeting were the group chief commercial officer for Dangote Industries Limited, Rabiu Umar; commercial director for Lafarge Cement PLC, Gbenga Onimowo; secretary of the Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CMAN), James Salako; and other top officials of cement companies.

High cost of cement, other building materials unacceptable – Housing minister

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Nigeria records another nationwide blackout as grid collapses

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Nigeria records another nationwide blackout as grid collapses

Nigeria was again plunged into total darkness for hours on Sunday after national grid collapsed for the second time in less than one month.

Many homes and businesses were left without power supply, extending to Monday morning.
This came about a week after the controversial review of Band A power consumers increasing electricity tariff from N68 to N225/kw.
Data supplied by the National System Operator, a semi-autonomous unit in the Transmission Company of Nigeria showed that the grid collapsed around 3am.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria battled to restore the grid as supply later rose to 250MW, with Abuja and Lagos Disco having the highest load of 80MW, Ibadan Disco with 50MW, and Benin Disco with 40MW.

Nigeria generates an average of 4,000MW of electricity for estimated 200 million citizens across the country.

The grid continues to record incessant collapses due to gas supply constraints, transmission infrastructure vandalism, and liquidity crises, among others.

Latest data from the Independent System Operator, an arm of the TCN, showed that only one electricity generation company, Ibom Power, was active as of Monday morning.

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The national grid collapse was confirmed by the Jos Electricity Distribution Company.

The Head, Corporate Affairs, JEDC, Dr Friday Elijah, said in a notice to customers, “The current outage being experienced within our franchise states is a result of a loss of power supply from the national grid.

“The loss of power supply from the national grid occurred in the early hours at about 0242hours of today, Monday, April 15, 2024, hence the loss of power supply on all our feeders.”

Elijah, however, expressed hope that the grid would be restored for normal power supply to electricity consumers.

On February 5, 2024, power generation on the national grid crashed to 59.9 MW around 12 p.m. on February 4, 2024, as the country’s grid witnessed a nationwide collapse.

The report stated that data obtained from the Federal Ministry of Power showed that electricity generation on the grid plunged from 2,658.75 MW at 11 a.m. to 59.9 MW by noon on February 4, 2024, as power distributors lost supply from the grid.

This led to widespread blackouts across the country, as power distribution companies blamed it on the collapse of the grid managed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria, an agency of the Federal Government.

National grid collapses again as Nigerians suffer blackout

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Bobrisky’s male organ intact, says NCoS official

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Bobrisky

Bobrisky’s male organ intact, says NCoS official

Controversial crossdresser, Idris Okuneye, aka Bobrisky, who was handed a six-month prison sentence over naira abuse, currently shares the same cell with male inmates at the Ikoyi Custodial Centre.

A top official in the facility who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, as he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said the crossdresser was examined at the point of admission.

According to the official, the outcome of the examination revealed that the convict had no realignment of gender or genital organs.

“Bobrisky was perceived as an ordinary detainee and underwent a thorough examination, which revealed no evidence of gender or genital organ realignment. His male biological characteristics remained unchanged.

The source said that, “Bobrisky made a public declaration that he was a male and court proceedings are public records. Every inmate brought into a facility during admission is examined.  He was equally examined and no realignment of gender or genital organ was discovered. The male biological features were the same.

“After that, a cell was allocated to him, and he had a certain number of inmates with him. A bed space was also allotted to him. It is just like a boarding house where your housemaster will issue you your personal belongings.”

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The source added that the convicted crossdresser had been observing the rules and procedures obtained in the facility.

“When it is time for class, he attends. When it is time for food, he will go and get his portion. The same goes with prep and light out. He observes all these without preference. He has been going about his business just like other inmates since he was brought in here.”

While making a clarification on the claims that Bobrisky was being protected against abuse, the official noted that the facility frowned against any form of abuse by a fellow inmate.

“He is not getting any five-star treatment and is not being protected from anybody. He follows the same rules and regulations just like every other inmate. Single cells of isolation cells are to prevent outbreaks of communicable diseases. In a male prison, homosexuality is outlawed and it is a grievous offence. Sodomy or homosexuality, is frowned upon here in the custodial centre. So any inmate that tries to violate him will face the law.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the Lagos State Command of the NCS, Rotimi Oladokun, declined to speak on the matter.

“I have no comment,” he said.

Recall, Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court in Lagos, while sentencing the convict, on Friday, April 12, 2024, said the judgment would be a deterrent to others who are found abusing and mutilating the naira.

Bobrisky who was taken into the Custodial Centre after the judgement was said to have been treated equally like other inmates.

Bobrisky’s male organ intact, says NCoS official

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El-Rufai’s ally, Aisha, arrested over Facebook post

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El-Rufai’s ally, Aisha, arrested over Facebook post

Aisha Galadima, a female politician and member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna State, was reportedly arrested on Sunday by security agents believed to be operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

The arrest was said to be related to a negative social media post about the state governor, Uba Sani.

According to sources, Galadima criticised Sani’s last comment against the former governor of the state, Nasir El-Rufai in a post on her Facebook page.

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A neighbour said she was arrested in her community in the Tudun Wada area of Kaduna on Sunday afternoon, and another friend stated that Galadima’s phone was switched off after the arrest.

However, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Muhammad Lawal Shehu, said he was not aware of the arrest and directed inquiries about the matter to the DSS for further clarification.

“I’m not aware that a woman was arrested for posting a negative comment against His Excellency. In any case, you should direct your enquiries to the DSS, not the Kaduna State Government,” he said.

El-Rufai’s ally, Aisha, arrested over Facebook post

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