Who holds the Ace?

Who holds the Ace?

When the Federal Government approved licenses for 13 Nigerian firms to import bagged cement into

Nigeria, the Government’s stated intension was to put an end to short supply and ensure the crash of price of the product in the country. Yet, most Nigerians would not still believe the prospect of a crash in price of cement, because, according to cross section of Nigerian residents in Lagos State, when prices of commodities go up in the country they don’t often come down.

Some suggested that a cartel had perfected its stranglehold on the supply side of cement that no matter what measure the government puts in place, as it had over the years, the strong cartel had always found a way to undercut supplies thereby sustaining high prices for the essential building material.

This state of helplessness may, from next week, start changing with the direct involvement of Mr. Femi Otedola to get involved on the supply side and manufacturing of cement. According to a source close to the Epe-Lagos State born businessman who had made a name for himself in the petroleum downstream sector, Otedola’s first shipment of his Otedola Portland Cement (OPC) would be launched sometime next week with a strong identification with Nigerians desires to be able to buy cement at affordable price.

“I can surely tell you that OPC is about being offered to Nigerians and in the character of chairman (Otedola) the product has to be affordable. I think the retail price that is been considered for the 50kg bag of cement is N700. That is about 40 percent slash from the current market price. Chairman believes that this price slash will help break the backbone of the monopolistic cartel that had dominated the cement market for a long time.” The source that is directly involved in the landing of OPC confided in FORTUNE & CLASS.

Otedola has a record of price dumping, a business model that another source in his Zenon Oil & Gas Company said, has by and large, impacted on the mass of Nigerians.

“For Otedola, a little profit is better than huge gains. You remember he blazed diesel price slash in Nigeria when the petroleum product became so scarce and expensive. It is simply about adding value for Nigerians who are in dire needs of products that are, otherwise, common goods but had now turned essential because of the activities of monopoly inclined operators.” The source said.

“I can tell you that we are planning an elaborate launch of Otedola Portland Cement starting from Mushin, the densely populated suburb of Lagos which would symbolize the populism appeal of the cement.” The source directly involved in the cement landing explained.   

 “Even beyond this, I can also reveal to you that Chairman is putting finishing touches to selling petrol at his AP stations for N59. You can expect this in the next six weeks. This would naturally force competitors to also reduce price for the benefit of Nigerians.”

Coming on the heels of recent rapprochement between Otedola and Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, Chairman of the NICON Group, might have also persuaded the lawyer businessman to consider diversifying into cement manufacturing in the country.

“The idea is to flood the Nigerian market heavily.” The source informed. “What Chairman told Barrister Ibrahim is that if he comes into the supply side he would also be helping to make cement available to Nigerians at affordable prices. I am aware that very soon Barrister Ibrahim will be announcing the arrival of NICON Cement.”

13 Responses

  1. Femi Otedola’s entry into the cement business game is beginning to have a spiral effect on the big Nigerian scene,a vista of opportunities will prop open for the commoners to begin to own their own houses as prices of different cement brands fall big time. This is a good omen for our national life.

  2. Cudos to the big chairman.with people like him there is hope.he has shown responsibility. i will like to buy his shares

  3. This is a very good development. Big thumbs for FEMI OTEDOLA ride on SIR, the sky is your starting point. At least the common man as nigerians call it can own houses of their own. WIth the entry of DR. JIMOH IBRAHIM’s NICON CEMENT, the future of this country will be save and guraded from people who only think of their selfish interest.

  4. I am in the construction industry in Nigeria and my questions/comments are:
    – Why don’t the government just allow everyone to import cement? The licenses are just going to people already known in other sectors. Why can’t everyone import this commodity?

    – We need to hold our political and business leaders responsible for their words. Some business men will promise all sorts of things but when the time comes to act, an excuse or silent is all we get.

    – Cement is not the only material in building. Government & Journalists should research the actual % it represents in a typical building. Other material prices have equally gone up, such as wood, sand, chippings, electrical and plumbing fittings, etc. Why so much attention is given only to the cement industry? Is is because it is controlled by big players?

    – The Government should make it clear its policies as regards to promotion of local production/manufacturing. Now that the world economy is crashing, I hope we will not become the dumping ground of cement and other materials to the detriment of our local manufacturing companies.

    Time will tell.

  5. This moves made by ‘The Nigerian Billionaire’ will go a long way librating and encouraging those who are aspiring to build their own houses but for which the price of cement has discouraged them.I salute the business mogul and the prospetive cement investor(bar. Jimoh Ibrahim)

  6. Well big CUDOS to the chairman with this development. BUT hope it comes to pass so that ,we will know is real and the masses will benefit and pray for him equally even if is that affordable we still need encoragement i mean benjamen like in ur work place to give loans, increament in salaries not that u will be working for donkey years no increament or payment of bonus but with out that most of the masses will find it bit difficult toget there own house.once more CUDOS TO THE CHAIRMAN.

  7. Aliko Dangote will always show he is still on top.How come we have not still seen Otedola cement and Nicon cement.Its not easy to fight with the big boy.But come to thnk of it its not too good the government is not giving other people free hand to operate,as earth great treasures can best be won by free men through free enterprise.

  8. The only factor that can challenge Dangote in cement business in Nigeria is supernatural. Let them bring the cement ,Nigerians are waiting. please remind them in case they have forgotten their promises. Dangote will only need to move 550km to render them impotent. With two other factories coming up at shagamu and ibgose, forget cement importation in the next two years. The only formidable force in the south west is elephant cement. They know the implication that]s why they have commenced gradual expansion.
    Kudos to Magen-roi but the have to move fast by putting infrastructure on the ground

  9. Much ado about cement and its politics! It will take a political will to unravel and deal with the mystic behind this. Meanwhile cement issue is just a component of the ironies of the nation. Please do elite me about the activites and the operations of Magen Roi Cement. I don’t know much about the product.

  10. The price war is one of the strategy Dangote has effectively used to cow competitors and send them underground over the years.

    If the new comers like Femi Otedola and Jimoh Ibrahim think they’ve got enough up their sleeves to upset Dangote, good luck to them.

    All I am concerned about is how to really make it affordable for low income earners.

    Benard Solomon

  11. What is all these talk about cement, otedola and jimoh and even dangote.Cement existed in Nigeria before these people.All that Nigeria needs is a company that will make the price of cement affordable and in every part of Nigeria. Companies like Magenroi cement should be able to give these people a run for their money.After all, it is all about busienss

  12. dangote or what ever his name is, is devil in human skin who delive happiness in masses sufering. It’s time he go to hell and rot in hell for all nigerians care

  13. Advert display on how to carry a 50kg bag of cement with teeth,to prove the strongness and the durability of your products compared to other cement-producing companies.We are hereby notifying your organization an opportunity to place an incredible advert on the media.This is to demonstrate the strongness and durability.Its another way of Jimoh ibrahim NICON cements showing their superiority over other cement-producing companies.On request,we can send a copy of the video demonstrating the talent to your organization.Pls,find some attached pictures.Tel:234802 622 1757.Thanks for your co-operation.

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