A cross-section of Nigerians are not convinced that they will ever witness a cut in BUA Cement prices following the recent promise by the company’s Chairman, Abdul Samad Rabiu.
Some respondents who spoke with our correspondent on the issue were unanimous that the cement maker has promised and failed many times before.
Recall that the BUA Group Chairman, on September 15th 2023, after meeting President Bola Tinubu in Aso Rock, vowed to cut the price of his cement brand to about N3,000 per bag by January 2024.
Rabiu was quoted to have promised to crash the price of his cement brand from the current market price of about N5,000 to arond N3,000 beginning from January 2024.
While some Nigerians are beating the drums for celebration, others are calling for caution given the antecedent of BUA Group in redeeming promises.
One of the respondent, Babatunde Fehintolu said the BUA Cement boss has made similar promises in the past to reduced the prices of his cement brand only to increase them few months after.
According to Fehintolu, Nigerians shouldn’t be carried away with Rabiu’s enticing promise because he is a shrewd businessman who is driven by profit motive.
David Coker, a retired civil servant, who has been planning to complete his building years before retirement but couldn’t, blamed his predicament on monopolistic cement manufactures like The BUA Group who were favoured by past administrations in the country.
“I will not be carried away by that promise untill he proves me wrong. He has deceived Nigerians many times so I will wait and see before I will believe him” he stated.
His view is shared by Kayode, a major cement seller in Ikorodu, who believes the BUA Group boss is playing to the gallery after meeting with the president. In his words, “He just wants to says what President Tinubu will like to hear.
“Why do some people like to play games with us?. In 2021 he promised to reduced the price of cement but few weeks after the price went up.
“I can still remember in 2021, a bag of cement was sold for about N3,500, I’m supprised that the BUA Cement owner said the price of his brand can fall by some 40 percent to about N2,200.”
Another cement dealer in Kano, Abdullahi Mohammed, simply dismissed the promise, saying that the BUA Group Chairman wanted to score a cheap political point.
He noted that if there would ever be a price reduction in BUA Cement brand, it would be conjured, adding that with the current level of inflation affecting every commodity, Rabiu was not sincere.
On his part, another dealer, Adewale Afolabi who spoke to our correspondent in Oshogbo, said the promise by BUA Cement should be treated as a campaign promise that can never be fulfilled once elections are over.
Afolabi pointed out that Rabiu has made numerous promises in the past and failed, while advising Nigerians not take him serious.
However, for Dr. Kester Okeogene, an economic analyst, reduction in food prices is what Nigerians need most at present not political rhetorics by businessmen.
Okeogene pointed out that the BUA Chief Executive has not mentioned anything concerning escalating prices of his food products despite the untold hunger ravaging the land.
The Economist who described Rabiu’s promise as hypocritical stated, “BUA Foods Plc, has recorded growth in its Profit after tax by 142 percent to N95. 2 billion in unaudited results for the half-year ended June 30, 2023.
The company’s Profit before tax increased significantly by 156 percent to N109. 4 billion as against N42.”
According to him, if he had meant well for the country, he could have considered crashing the price of flour, spaghetti, noodles and others, adding that majority Nigerians are hungry and cement price does not matter to them.
A few respondents are, however waiting to see if Rabiu will eventually fulfill his promises this time around.