If the Federal Government does not take steps to force down the price of cement by Tuesday, September 20, bricklayers under the aegis of Lagos State Bricklayers Association, will on Monday, September 26, embark on a rally to press home their demand for a reduction in the price of the product, its President, Deacon Abel Olukayode, has warned.
He said the decision to hold the rally was the decision of the state executives of Lagos State Bricklayers Association at a meeting on September 8 in Akesan, Lagos.
Cement price, recently rose from N1,600 to between N2, 000 and N2, 600 per bag. This did not go down well with bricklayers, with Olukayode calling on the Federal Government to intervene to reduce the price, or the association’s over 500 members would hold a rally.
Although he attributed the price increase to the prevailing naira/dollar exchange rate, he said: “Now we are pleading with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to save Nigerians by reducing the exchange rate to between N100 and N170/per dollar.”
Olukayode did not reveal details of the rally, he said the action, which was in line with the association’s motto, “Service to Humanity,” became necessary to save Nigerians from the consequences of the increase.
He said one of the fallouts of the development was the building collapse. “We have been lamenting over rising incidents of building collapse in the country. Are we not going to lose more lives and property, following the astronomical rise in cement price?’’
He pointed out that members of the association would not want to stretch their clients before they could be sheltered.
Olukayode also raised the alarm that if steps were not taken to reverse the increase, more construction firms would close, and that this might is mean that more construction companies would close shop. And block makers’ he warned, could not mould blocks according to prescribed standards and specifications.
Asked if bricklayers were likely to increase their service charge in response to the cement price increase, Olukayode said: “No, our service charges remain the same.” He, however, said the association after its September 8 meeting resolved to say ‘NO’ to any increment in cement price.