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FG, manufacturers peg price of bag of cement at N7,000-N8,000

The Federal Government and major cement manufacturers have pegged the price of 50kg bag of cement at between N7,000 and N8,000, depending on the location nationwide.

Senator David Umahi made this known to newsmen after a protracted meeting with major cement manufacturers in the country on Monday in Abuja.

The Cement Manufacturers came to an agreement to sell a 50kg bag of cement at a retail price of between N7,000 and N8,000, depending on the location.

However, the manufacturers stated that the price drop from the current market price would depend on the fulfilment of certain government intervention to ameliorate critical challenges faced in the industry.

The meeting was against the backdrop of the astronomical increase in the price of the commodity to about N13,000 in several retail stores in the Federal Capital Territory, Enugu and other parts of the country.

The meeting, called by President Bola Tinubu, to find a lasting solution to the unreasonable increase, had Umahi lamenting that the price was abnormal and detrimental to economic prosperity sought after by the current administration.

Speaking, the minister said certain issues, including smuggling, bad roads, high energy costs, and the foreign exchange crisis, caused the high price but stressed that manufacturers have expressed their readiness to willingly  bring down the prices.

He said, “The cement manufacturers and the government have noted that the present high cost of cement in the market is abnormal in some locations nationwide.

“Ideally, they noted that cement price and retail price to a consumer should not cost more than between N7,000 and N8,000 per 50 kg bag of cement.

“Therefore, the government and the cement manufacturers, which is Dangote Plc, BUA Plc and Lafarge Plc, have agreed to peg their cement price nationwide between N7,000 and N8,000 per 50 kg bag of cement, depending on the location.

“Which means that this price depends on the location. Going forward, the government advised manufacturers to set up a price monitoring mechanism to ensure compliance with the prices that are set today.”

The meeting had in attendance the  minister of works, Minister of Trade and Investment, Mrs Doris Uzoka-Anite, representatives of Dangote Plc, BUA Plc and Lafarge Plc.

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35 illegal tax collectors facing prosecution in Benue

The Acting Chairman of the Benue State Internal Revenue Service (BIRS), Emmanuel Agena, has revealed that 35 persons involved in illegal tax collection in the state are currently facing prosecution.

Agena announced that the agency has set an ambitious target to generate over N16 billion in revenue for the year 2024 following the successful surpassing of its N14 billion target in 2023.

Speaking to journalists on Monday, Agena expressed concern over the activities of illegal tax collectors in the state, noting that many of them were supported by influential personalities.

He stated that his administration at the BIRS had put an end to the era of patronage by politicians, aiming to significantly reduce illegal tax collection activities.

The BIRS boss also condemned a recent incident in which a truck carrying palliatives from Adamawa to Anambra State was hijacked by youths in Aliade, Gwer East.

He disclosed that three suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident.

“A truck was intercepted and the driver beaten while the windscreen of the vehicle broken and over N200,000 was stolen.

“Three persons have been arrested and are in police custody. They will be moved to DSS for thorough investigation.

“We aim to flush out or reduce illegal tax collectors to the barest minimum. Already, 35 people who engaged in illegal tax collection were arrested and facing prosecution.

“This has been a big challenge. We have constituted a team headed by the director of Tax collection. Prominent people in the state are involved in encouraging these boys,” he stated.

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Nigeria’s Inflation rate hits 33.20% in March- NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics NBS says Nigeria’s inflation rate jumped to 33.20% in March 2024 compared to February 2024 headline inflation rate which was 31.70%.

A report released by the NBS on Monday, April 15, reads

“Looking at the movement, the March 2024 headline inflation rate showed an increase of 1.50% points when compared to the February 2024 headline inflation rate.

“On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 11.16% points higher compared to the rate recorded in March 2023, which was 22.04%. On a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in March 2024 was 3.02%, which was 0.10% lower than the rate recorded in February 2024 (3.12%).

“This means that in the month of March 2024, the rate of increase in the average price level is less than the rate of increase in the average price level in February 2024.”

 

The inflation report by the NBS followed the hike of Nigeria’s interest rate from 22.75% to 24.75% by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The March inflation rate was released at a time when measures by the apex bank to strenghten the naira against foreign exchange have seen some positive results.

The naira has appreciated against the dollar in recent weeks, gaining over 40%, from about N1,900/$ to about N1,100/$1 now.

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NAFDAC seals popular Supermarket in Ibadan

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) has sealed a popular groceries and cosmetics supermarket, Pinnacle in Dugbe area of Ibadan over sale of fake products.

The supermarket, usually a beehive of activities was now a shadow of itself as the gate leading to the premises was shut with an inscription directing customers to its branch at Challenge.

Management of the supermarket cited technical issues as reason for its closure.

An inside source who pleaded for anonymity however revealed that problem started on Tuesday, 2nd April , 2024 when NAFDAC surveillance team stormed the mall to enforce total shutdown of the premises, thereby forcing shoppers out of the supermarket.

“The NAFDAC team came inside the mall and told us to close, even though people were many inside who wanted to do shopping but they couldn’t because the technical issue started and they all went away in disappointment”, the source said.

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