As you know, this blog has decided to provide rolling coverage, at no charge to readers, of the ongoing drama around cement in Nigeria. I do this purely out of the Christianity (or what’s left of it) in my heart, so you don’t need to thank me for it.
If you are not up to speed – Part 1 of the War began with the mysterious ‘glut’ in the market. Hostilities were soon renewed by the belligerents after a brief period of peace, this time over ‘standards’. While battle raged, I decided to take a look at the numbers for cement production in Nigeria. They were so alarming that I was compelled to exercise my right as a citizen of the Federal Republic, guaranteed under the constitution, to write an open letter to any minister of my choice. Then a really smart reader sent me more information that added context to my letter and increased our understanding of the Nigerian cement ‘market’.
Again, as you may have guessed, I have my ‘sauces’ embedded everywhere inside the Federal Government of Nigeria and its agencies and one of them has very kindly sent me a presentation by the President of COREN [Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria] to stakeholders in the construction industry, put together by SON.
[Sidebar: Yo SSS, if you are reading, I was only joking about having people embedded. I don’t want anyone delaying me in the hot airport when next I am in Nigeria. Thank you kindly]
Forgive the style of the presentation, but it contains plenty of useful information that improves the quality of the debate currently going on over cement standards. If both sides are now fighting each other with facts and empirical evidence, then that is a much better thing than the dodgy stats that have been deployed before now.
The presentation is below. Here’s hoping that facts and logic win at the end of the day and Nigerian consumers get a better deal out of the market. Read to the end.
P.S Message to SON: Audite et alteram partem