By Ifeoma Aka
The prices of some building materials have increased in Enugu, South East Nigeria reports the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
NAN reports that the recorded increases were due to hike in road transportation fare and the attendant bad roads.
A survey conducted by the agency to some markets in Enugu metropolis on Saturday showed that there was an increase of between 10 per cent and 15 per cent in the cost of most of the materials.
Mr Magnus Uguru, who deals on iron rods at the Kenyatta Market, lamented that the deplorable condition of roads particularly in the South East Zone contributed to the hike in price.
According to him, it takes vehicles longer hours on the roads to deliver goods from Kano, Benue, Aba, and Port Harcourt to Enugu due to the bad roads.
Uguru also said that the federal governments ban on the importation of some of the products into the country’s market influenced their local production which had not made things cheaper.
He said that the insecurity being witnessed at the Northern part of the country was also a problem as many lorry drivers dreaded going there for fear of being attacked.
Mr Obiorah Atansi, another dealer on iron rods at the Kenyatta market said that the rainy season was always their dry season in sales as they recorded very low patronage during this season.
Atansi said that 16mm length of rod had recorded slight increase to N3,750 against N3350 they sold late last year at this period while 12mm is sold for N2,300 against N2,000 in the same period last year.
“Others that recorded slight increases are 10mm which is sold for N1,500 as against N1,250, 8mm is sold for N950 as against N850 and finally 6mm which price remains N500 both now and last year, “he added.
A cement dealer, Mr Chigozie Ugwu said Burham brand of cement sold for N2,400 now sells for N2,550 same price which was also applicable to Dangote cement which is more popular in Nigeria markets.
“Dangote is sold for N2,350 about six months ago but now sold for N2500 and N2,550 depending on where you bought the product from.
“Unicem Cement which people refer to as very essential sold six months ago at the rate of N2,700 but now sells at the rate of N2,850.
“ A bag of Ibeto Cement which is more popular in southern part of the country sold at N2,500 before now costs N2,650 while Bua Cement which they refer to as foreign product sold N2,550 six months ago now sells for N2650,” he said.
Mr Job Uwakwe, another dealer at the Nike Timber Market, Abakpa Nike confirmed that the prices were the same at the market.
Uwakwe however, appealed to governments at all levels to complete the roads in the zone to reduce the price of the products.
A building contractor Mr Joel Anikwe lamented that the cost of building materials was very high in the market adding that an average man cannot build a house of his own with the present cost of building materials.
Anikwe said that he constructed houses for both government and individuals adding that he was finding it difficult to make profit after working for the government.
He explained that government would always contract the job at the price of 2017 in 2019 even knowing that the price could not remain stable owing to escalating cost of materials.
He noted that no matter what one was passing through that government would never give variation to augment the loss.
The contractor appealed to governments at all level to look into the cost of building materials to enable a common man to provide shelter for his family.