Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Pastor Paul Adefarasin as self-acclaimed billionaire By Mfonobong Nsehe (BBC WRITER) Two weeks ago, I posted a story about the five richest Nigerian pastors . The piece has since attracted considerable attention in Nigerian and foreign media, for reasons not entirely clear to me. Still, I thought it was just about over until I received word from several friends on Sunday that one of Nigeria's most erudite pastors, Paul Adefarasin, was mildly upset that he didn't make my little list and that he took his grievance to the church. Pastor Adefarasin is the founder and lead pastor of the House on the Rock Church, a thriving Pentecostal outfit that emphasizes financial prosperity almost as if it were a requisite for salvation. He is one of Nigeria's most elegant men, famed for his bespoke Italian-cut suits, flashy automobiles, shiny head and his deep baritone enmeshed in a delightful American accent. Pastor Adefarasin is "rich", and he set out to prove his point to his church members at the 5-Star Eko Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos where he held this Sunday's service. "I am a billionaire and there is nothing anybody can do about it," he boasted. "I have coached many billionaires and you know, the pastor of billionaires is a billionaire." "The preacher of a billionaire can only be a billionaire because a monkey cannot give birth to a goat and a goat cannot follow a baboon." "I am a preacher. I am a motivational speaker. I am a TV personality. I am a life coach. You can criticize me or slander me in the pages of newspapers but the blessings are in me and there is nothing anyone can do about it," he bragged. As a 'billionaire', he went ahead to give tips to his vast congregation who apparently are all dreaming of becoming billionaires. "To become a billionaire, Christians must simply imagine it, ask and realize that money, blessing and favour are already in them. All they need is to 'work out' what 'God has already worked in.' " "Some of you do not see that you are already billionaires but there is a difference between to create and to unveil. God will simply unveil your billions to you as he did to me," he said to his multi-thousand congregation. I haven't yet confirmed Pastor Adefarasin's billions, but I'm certain his 'billions' are in Heaven currency, which unfortunately, is not legal tender here on Earth. Still, he has plenty of real-life money. While he didn't make my recent list of top five wealthiest pastors, I reckon he's worth at least $1 million. Pastor Adefarasin is one of Nigeria's most respected preachers, and a renowned Televangelist. His church, the House on the Rock has grown phenomenally over the years, and is the preferred worship center for some of Nigeria's most successful people. Former Nigerian billionaire, Femi Otedola apparently worships at the church occasionally, along with several successful middle-class professionals and corporate executives. (Imagine all those beautiful offerings and Tithes!) But Pastor Adefarasin is also a change maker. He is the founder of the Rock Foundation, a Christian charity that services and tries to rehabilitate prostitutes, social miscreants, ex convicts and drug addicts.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Young Nigerians must continue to engage government" – US Consular-General

“Young Nigerians must continue to engage government,” the US Consul-General, Joseph D. Stafford, has said. This was part of his Keynote Remarks at the consulate’s New Tools, New Government town hall meeting with young leaders and icons held at the US Consulate’s Public Affairs Section office in Lagos. The event was presented by leading development firm, The Future Project. “I was very impressed at the active participation of the Nigerian youth during the 2011 elections,” he said. “Now that the elections are over, it would be productive to see continuous social media engagements. The United States government hails the conduct of the process with young civil engagement organizations, and the activities of frontline organizations like The Future Project.” The focus was on election and post-election engagement for young Nigerians to work and build a strong democratic society and drive a true government of and by the people. The meeting covered using Social and New Media to address governance issues and encourage youth to be active citizens, and how various organizations, projects and activities engaged pre-elections, during the elections and post-elections, the impact made and future plans - long and short term. Presentations were made by EnoughisEnough Nigeria on its RSVP campaign and the ReVoDa mobile election application, 234NEXT.com on its Ushahidi Platform, and the Community Development Foundation on its ReclaimNaija incident reporting website and an overview of election activities by Kayode Nubi, who is Communication Officer with The Future Project. There was also a practical session on how to use the internet to monitor government officials by Samuel Eyitayo, who is Information Resource Director of the Public Affairs Section. Guests at the event included representatives of LEAP Africa, the Kudirat initiative for Democracy, Smoke Free Foundation, Access Cool Peer Monitoring Project, Tosin Jegde Foundation, amongst others. Also attending was ace comedian Ali Baba, OC Ukeje, Mosunmola Umoru, publisher Familusi Akin Babajide, Tosyn Bucknor, Abiola Aloba, amongst others. There was also a performance by GT da Guitarman and the event was hosted by TV presenter and events compere, Shade Ladipo. “Social and new media is only a tool and should not be relied upon solely,” said Chuks Ojidoh who made the presentation for ReclaimNaija. “It must be linked with the tradition – or old – media that there must be synergy between the two. More than that, everyone in Nigeria should have a sense of responsibility so that we will all be involved in Nigeria’s governance.” Added Tina Onufer, who is Public Affairs Officer, "Informed citizens must disseminate information to the larger population responsibly." The event was managed by Red Media, a leading media and marketing communication firm based in Lagos, and owner of Y! (www.ynaija.com) – a range of media brands on television, radio, print and online. "This event was very instructive for me and very successful," said Bene Uche, who is Senior Cltural Officer with the PAS and who officially kicked off the event. "More importantly though, there is need for continuity and implementing what was discussed here today." “We are excited by the fact that this conversation has begun,” said Adebola Williams, who is co-founder of Red Media, and who anchored the event’s interactive session which also featured the Consulate’s Tina Onufer. “Young Nigerians played a key role in the last elections, using the innovative social tools that the New and Digital Media provide, and it is important that we define a pathway from there to the future. Nigeria has no choice but to change for good.”

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Italian firm to build N10bn medical centre in Edo

Italian firm to build N10bn medical centre in Edo Monday, 20 June 2011 22:48 administrator E-mail Print PDF From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos An Italian consortium, Folaris Group has partner a presidential aspirant in the 2011 general election, Francis Onabis to build a 500 million euro ultra modern medical centre in Uromi, Edo state. The Preliminary agreement was signed by Francis Onabis project and the construction firms in Rome on Saturday the 18th of June 2011. Onabis in a statement said "the medical centre is to be the first of its kind in the sub-sahara Africa and will compete with any international medical facility in the world." He said the goal of the project is to create a center of excellence for national health care that soon will become the entire national health project. Onabis who Lamented the decaying health sector in the country said "the structure when completed is to accommodate over 700 patients and will be able to deal with any health problems without requiring the use of extral- national structures with enormous cost and time." He said the facility which will be constructed on approximately 230,000 sq. meters of Land in Uromi community when completed will be self sufficient in terms of energy requirements as it should also be with zero impact on the environment. Onabis a Nigeria born Italy based businessman came to national lime light when he declared his intention to run for the office of the president in the 2011 general election.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Life and Time of MKO Abiola

18 years after the death of late business mogul and winner of the Jun12 1993 presidential election MKO Abiola,AYODELE SAMUEL date back his life and time Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola and often referred to as M. K. O. Abiola was born in August 24, 1937. Chief Abiola was a popular businessman, publisher and politician. He was born in his native Egba town, Abeokuta the Ogun state capital at the south-western part of Nigeria. Chief Moshood Abiola was his father's twenty-third child but the first of his father's children to survive infancy, hence the name 'Kashimawo' which means "Let us wait and see". It was not until he was 15 years old that he was properly named Moshood, by his parents. Chief Abiola at the tender age of nine he started his first business selling firewood. He would wake up at dawn to go to the forest and gather firewood, which he would then cart back to town and sell before going to school, in order to support his old father and his siblings. He later founded a band at age fifteen where he would perform at various ceremonies in exchange of food. He eventually became famous enough to start demanding payment for his performances and used the money to support his family and his secondary education at the Baptist Boys High School Abeokuta, where he excelled. He was the Editor of the school magazine The Trumpeter and former President Olusegun Obasanjo was Deputy Editor. At the age of 19, he joined the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons ostensibly because of its Pan-African agenda. In 1956 Chief Abiola started his professional career as Bank Clerk with the then Barclays Bank plc in Ibadan, Oyo state, south-west Nigeria. After two years he joined the Western Region Finance Corporation [WRFC] as an Executive Accounts Officer before leaving for Glasgow, Scotland to pursue his higher education. He received 1st class in Political Economy, Commercial Law and Management Accountancy in Glasgow. He also received a distinction from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. On his return to Nigeria he worked as a Senior Accountant at the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital and then went onto Pfizer, before joining the ITT Corporation, where he later rose to the position of Vice President, Africa and Middle-East of the corporation which has its headquarters in the United States. He founded: Abiola Farms, Abiola bookshops, Radio Communications Nigeria, Wonder Bakeries, Concord Press, Concord Airlines, Summit Oil International Limited, Africa Ocean Lines, Habib Bank, Decca W.A. Limited, and Abiola Football Club also known as Abiola Babes. In addition to this he also managed to perform his duties as Chairman of the G15 Business Council, President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Patron of the Kwame Nkrumah Foundation, Patron of the WEB Du Bois Foundation, trustee of the Martin Luther King Foundation and Director of the International Press Institute. From 1972 until his death Moshood Abiola had been conferred with 197 traditional titles by 68 different communities in Nigeria, in response to the fact that his financial assistance resulted in the construction of 63 secondary schools, 121 mosques and churches, 41 libraries, 21 water projects in 24 states of Nigeria, and was grand patron to 149 societies or associations in Nigeria. In this way Abiola reached out and won admiration across the multifarious ethnic and religious divides in Nigeria. In addition to his work in Nigeria, Moshood Abiola was a dedicated supporter of the Southern African Liberation movements from the 1970s and he sponsored the campaign to win reparations for slavery and colonialism in Africa and the diaspora. Chief Abiola, personally rallied every African head of state, and every head of state in the black diaspora to ensure that Africans would speak with one voice on the issues Abiola's involvement in politics started early on in life when he joined the NCNC at age 19. In the 1980s, he was elected as the Chairman of the ruling National Party of Nigeria [NPN]. After an aborted initial primary, Chief Abiola stood for the Presidential nomination of the Social Democratic Party [SDP] and beat Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to secure the presidential nomination of the SDP ahead of the June 12th 1993 Presidential elections. Unfortunately no Wednesday, June 23, 1993 General Ibrahim Babangida annulled the election without allowing the Professor Humphrey Nwosu-led National Electoral Commission [NEC] to release the rest of the results which was supposed to usher the country into democratic rule never saw the light of day. The June 12 Presidential election was believed to have been in favour of the Presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party [SDP], late Chief M.K.O Abiola. He overwhelmingly defeated his rival, Alhaji Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention [NRC] in an election that was declared to be the country's freest and fairest election by national and international observers, with Abiola even winning in his Northern opponent home state and over two-thirds of Nigerian states. The June 12 1993 presidential election was signalized. It remains a historical watershed in Nigeria polity. For the very first time, Nigerians voted massively in a threat-free atmosphere, not only choosing a Southerner, but also endorsing a Muslim-Muslim ticket. This in itself was proof of the reach and penetration of the Abiola personality. Prior to the elections, Nigeria was in the grasps of iron-cast dictatorship. Through mind-blowing prevarication, and foot-dragging we finally arrived at an election that must remain a national standpoint. In 1994 Chief Moshood Abiola declared himself the lawful President of Nigeria in the Epetedo area of Lagos Island, an area mainly populated by impoverished Nigerians. He had recently returned from a trip to win the support of the international community for his mandate. After declaring himself President he was declared wanted, accused of treason and arrested on the orders of the Military Head of State, General Sani Abacha. He was detained for four years, largely in solitary confinement and during that time, the late Pope John Paul II, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and human rights activists from all over the world lobbied the Military ruler General Abacha for his release. MKO Abiola has been referred to as one of Nigeria's greatest statesman who later passed on in prison on Tuesday, July 7, 1998. Moshood Abiola was twice voted international businessman of the year, and received numerous honorary doctorates from universities all over the world. In 1987 he was bestowed with the golden key to the city of Washington D.C., and he was bestowed with awards from the NAACP and the King center in the USA, as well as the International Committee on Education for Teaching in Paris, amongst many others. In Nigeria, the Oloye Abiola was made the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland. It is the highest chieftancy title available to commoners amongst the Yoruba, and has only been conferred by the tribe 14 times in its history. This in effect rendered Abiola the ceremonial War Viceroy of all of the Yoruba people. According to the folklore of the tribe as recounted by the Yoruba elders, the Aare Ona Kakanfo is expected to die a warrior in the defense of his nation inorder to prove himself in the eyes of both the divine and the mortal as having been worthy of his title. Late MKO did, he die defending his June12 mandate.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

NYSC: Now should the suffering continue?

NYSC: Now should the suffering continue? In years past, Corps Members have been killed, kidnapped tortured while carrying out the one year youth service. The recent killings of some Corps Members have again brought the beaming light if the NYSC scheme should continue, AYODELE SAMUEL writes In 1993 when 25 year old Alimi Yusuf was posted to Benue state for his youth service, his hope of working in Lagos was dashed, but his life receive a major turn around he never expected. Mr Alimi hails from Owo town in Ondo state where he had all his academics activities up to university level. His dream was to be posted to “bubbling” Lagos state for his national youth service but the NYSC commission dashed his hope. He was posted to Benue state “I was mad when I saw my name on the list of Benue state, what do they have their how will that affect my live positively” he pondered. the father of 3 kids said he met his lovely wife during the exercise “I married a Tiv lady who I met during my Youth Service,I served at Zaki Biam town in Ukum local government of Benue state but I never believed it but it happens because from my part of the country inter ethnic marriage is not common” “ I met her in a school where she worked as an admin officer after her SSCE in Zaki- Biam town, when I was posted to Benue state for my mandatory service in 1993, we got married in 1995 and since then have seen myself as a Yoruba-Tiv man a pure detribalize Nigerian” Mr. Alimi Yusuf cautioned that the cancelation of the scheme could disintegrate the nation “many Nigerians has been integrated during the NYSC service, knowing other parts of the country, learning about their culture makes you feel we are one Nigeria even though there are challenges some members faced in serving in the northern part of the country, that has not called for the cancelation” The family of Pa Rufus Gbenjo do not share the same sentiment with Mr. Alimi, their son Ebenezer Gbenjo was a graduate of Economic Education from the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, He was serving in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area in Bauchi State, where he was recruited as one of the electoral officers by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and posted to Giade town where he was during the post-election violence. Ebenezer was among other youth corps members who met their untimely death at the Giade Police Station where they sought refuge during the post-election violence in Bauchi on April 18 and his family are calling for a total cancelation of the scheme. While Mr Adeniji Adesiyan, the elder brother to the late Jelili Adeniji, , a banking and finance graduate from the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUAA), Ondo State, was killed at the Corpers’ Lodge in Bauchi by the rioters want the security agents to fish out those responsible for the killing of the NYSC members, Adeniji believes only the prosecution and conviction of the killers will reduce the pain and shock inflicted by Jelili’s death “scraping what have being in existence may not solve the problem but open prosecution and conviction of those who carried out these deadly act will heal our wounds, even thou none of our family member will partake in the programme again, we will not forgive this nation if those behind the killing of our promising young men and women are not brought to book.” The post election violence which rock some northern state shortly after the 2011 presidential election had increase the list of serving youth corps members the nation has loss to crisis, more than ten graduates lost their lives in sacrifice for a credible election. Dr. Frederick Fasheun is the National Coordinator of the The Oodua Peoples’ Congress OPC called for the arrest and trial of those responsible for recent post election violence. Fasheun also wondered why the laws of the country have not been applied to deal with the situation in the country. “I wonder what is happening in the country where the laws for genocide are not been applied to deal with those who commit mass murder. Why the laws on arson are not being applied to those who burn other people’s houses.” Expressing his mixed feeling on the continuation of the scheme a serving corps member in Taraba State said the killing of his colleagues in Bauchi and other state implies the failure of scheme, “we are not sent here to be killed or did the government set up NYSC to waste the life’s of young Nigerians, even before the recent killings there have been cases of killing, kidnapping, raping Corp members and the government has not done anything to stop, if all these cannot be stopped then the scheme should be modify to save our life’s.” The corps member who does not want his name in print said “everyday we stay here in fear, this northern part is too volatile and its not same in the west or the east were we came from, if our people are hospitable, accommodating and peaceful I think we should be allow to serve in our geopolitical region am sure no Bauchi man will kill his fellow Bauchi brother because somebody win or loss election.” He noted that he has not learn anything new since he arrived at state:“how can I learn culture were am always afraid, you can’t learn in a condition that risk your life also I have not learn the culture of my land finish you are talking of another place, my prayer is to get of this place soon” We are calling on government to let us chose were we want to serve “am sure if we had choose by our self states we want to go to, those guys killed will not have chose those state” The former Minister of Information, Chief Alex Akinyele want the scheme scraped, he said that the NYSC scheme had since outlived its usefulness within the first fifteen years of its establishment by the military administration of Gen. Yakubu Gowon to national integration , counseling that rather than exposing the lives of Nigerian Graduates to dangers of insecurity and wastage, their efforts at serving their father land could be channeled towards providing technical aid assistance to other African countries who require such services. He argued that their services would better be appreciated in the African countries in view of the fact that those African countries realized that Nigeria is ahead of them in many areas, noting that such programme would also bring more earnings to the country. ”I am saying that they should be used for Technical Aids Commission. With the Technical Aid Commission, our student can go all over the world and be there for more than one year, maybe ten years. They can go to Ghana, or Kenya and all other parts of African, they get paid and many of them get jobs there And that will be a greater exposure to them than someone who was born in Lagos and has to go to somewhere in Zungeru in Niger state to go and suffer ”. He maintained that different ethnic unions that exists in the Nigerian universities , sharing together facilities such as hostels in the higher institutions , the numerous games and competitions have replaced the said objectives of inter-ethnic interactions which was said to be the main objective behind the scheme, charging relevant authorities to consult widely on the modalities on way out of the problem. “I say send them to all the African states, let them go and help them there. They know that we Nigerians are ahead of them and they pay them with Dollars. If they don ’t know how to go about it, let them call Professor Bolaji Akinyemi who was a Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs during the Gen Babangida regime .Our students went round the African world then” Otunba Ayodele Oloye, a parent of two children expecting their call up letter said it will be sad if the scheme is canceled as he condole with the families of the slain youths “am sad that we still kill ourself in Nigeria, but I don’t want the scheme canceled even thou I pray none of my children steps Bauchi state in name of serving father land, the federal government should delist violence prone states from the service.” The vision of the scheme which had being in existence for the past 25 years is to be at the fore front of National development efforts, as well as serve as a profitable platform for imparting in our youths values of nationalism,patriotism,loyalty and accountable leadership but with the recent killings of its members during the last post election violence in the country , the vision of the scheme seems to have change to wasting lives of young and promising Nigerians in the name of serving their fatherland. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE NYSC The NYSC scheme was created in a bid to reconstruct, reconcile and rebuild the country after the Nigerian Civil war. The unfortunate antecedents in our national history gave impetus to the establishment of the National Youth Service Corps by decree No.24 of 22nd May 1973 which stated that the NYSC is being established "with a view to the proper encouragement and development of common ties among the youths of Nigeria and the promotion of national unity". As a developing country. Nigeria is further plagued by the problems attendant upon a condition of under development, namely; poverty. mass illiteracy, acute shortage of high skilled manpower (coupled with most uneven distribution of the skilled people that are available), woefully inadequate socioeconomic infrastructural facilities, housing. Water and sewage facilities, road, healthcare services, and effective communication system. Faced with these almost intractable problems, which were further compounded by the burden of reconstruction after the civil war, the government and people of Nigeria set for the country, fresh goals, and objectives aimed at establishing Nigeria as: (a) a united, strong and selfreliant nation: (b) a great and dynamic economy; (c) a land of bright and full opportunities for all citizens; and (d) a free and democratic society. The government and people of Nigeria are not aware that sound and patriotic leadership is a precondition for the rapid social and economic development of the country. As a nation, Nigeria has been less fortunate in the kind of leadership that emerge to govern the affairs of the country in the period immediately after independence, a leadership whose achievements notwithstanding, was none the less ill- prepared. and generally not properly motivated to tackle the problems of socioeconomic under development, in the interest of the country as a whole. E. There is no gain saying the fact that the future of any country depends on the youths. The youths of Nigeria acknowledge this fact, and have consistently laid claim to the nation's leadership. F. While one may give credence to the saying that leaders are born, not made, one must also concede to the fact that leadership in a modem society requires a certain degree of preparation and orientation before the assumption of that role. G. The universities and other institutions of higher learning are normally expected to be training ground for future leaders, except that, as we are all aware, these institutions are first and foremost committed to the advancement of learning and knowledge, training of people for good citizenship. Little wonder that the products of these institutions have been accused of being too elitist in their outlook, of not identifying with the plight of common man, and of inability to appreciate predicament of the vast majority of our people who live in the rural areas. H. It was the need to look beyond the immediate present and to think of the future leadership of the country that necessitated the mobilisation of certain categories of our youths through the National Youth Service Corps Scheme. This was done with a view to giving them the proper guidance and orientation relevant to the needs of the country. The National Youth Service Corps Decree No. 24 which has now been repealed and replaced by Decree 51 of 16th June 1993, was then formally promulgated. I. The purpose of the scheme is primarily to inculcate in Nigerian Youths the spirit of selfless service to the community, and to emphasize the spirit of oneness and brotherhood of all Nigerians, irrespective of cultural or social background. The history of our country since independence has clearly indicated the need for unity amongst all our people, and demonstrated the fact that no cultural or geographical entity can exist in isolation.

Nigerians groan under high cost of cement

Promise by cement manufacturers that 2011 will witnessed price reduction in the product has turned out a paradox as the cement prices assumed a flight in recent months, thus giving stakeholders in construction and building business cause to worry Ayodele Samuel examines the scenario in this analysis. Relieve in a form of drastic reduction in the price of cement enjoyed by consumers in the recent past could be short-lived after all, as prices have assumed upswing direction of late. From hitherto N2, 000 plus, price of cement crashed to N1, 400 and every stakeholder applauded the positive development as a boost to housing delivery and construction sector. As if the price reduction had not gotten to the desired level, cement stakeholders last year promised further price cut down by 20% in 2011. This was the position of Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria CMAN as announced by its Chairman, Joseph Makoju. Indigenous manufacturers raised hope of crash in cement prices in the country with a projection that output will soon hit about 30 million metric tons per annum. Nigeria is said to require about 15.5 million metric tons to meet its current national demand of per annum, local manufacturers supply hover at about 11.5 million metric tons, while importation close up the number. However, projections of output rise are hinged on the success of the various expansion projects being undertaken by the manufacturers as some of the projects are scheduled to boast market output by 2011 and early 2012. Suffice at this point to take a cursory look at Nigeria cement firms. It consists of four major producers, namely Lafarge WAPCO, Dangote Cement industries, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria and Ashaka Cement. Both Lafarge and Ashaka Cement have a combine 40 per cent share of the market while Dangote Group a majority stakeholder in Obajana and Benue Cement has an estimated 55 percent share of the Nigerian cement market. Engineer Makoju, Special Assistant to the president of Dangote Cement, Alhaji Aliko Dangote said that the group‘s Obajana Cement Plant is currently being expanded to add five million metric tonnes per annum to its initial five million metric tonnes production capacity. The group is also speeding up the construction of its Greenfield cement plant at Ibese, Ogun State, which will yield another five million metric tonnes. Another of its subsidiary, Benue Cement Company Plc, is currently producing about five million metric tonnes per annum. Dangote Cement, a member of the Dangote Group came into the cement manufacturing with a bang, building the biggest cement plant in West Africa at Obajana, Kogi State, which currently has two production lines producing 5 million metric tons of cement per annum. The third production line is nearing completion to add another 5.5 million metric tons on completion. Already, its Gboko plant, currently producing 3 million metric tons is also undergoing upgrading to add another 1 million metric tons to bring it to 4 million metric tons per annum. Besides, Dangote group is prosecuting a $680 million third plant at its Ibeshe Cement plant in Ogun State which when completed kicks off production by June. The plant is adding 6 million metric tons per annum. With this, Dangote cement alone would be churning out 20 million metric tons per annum from its three plants whose distribution cycle covers the whole country. Firm such as Larfarge WAPCO is also doing something positive to increase cement out by adding another plant to its existing plants at Ewekoro and Sagamu both in Ogun State. Indeed, while projections and expansions currently being undertaken by various cement firms supposedly should lead to a crash in cement prices, its price has hit the roof top. Investigation has revealed that the rise in the cost of cement is slowing down the pace of work in the building industry with building contractors, private builders including real estate developers lamenting the increase. Accommodations seekers, findings reveal are finding it difficult to cope with high price tags on the available houses. House and property owners are complaining high cost of maintaining their buildings. Olaharin Akinwunmi , a building contractor told Peoples Daily the high cost of cement has affected profitability in the sector. “The cost of executing building project skyrocket daily, the unstable prices of cement in the market worsen our plight, I’m building on a site now which we have to stop to study situation.” he lamented . Also collaborating Akinwunmi’s plight, Tunji Olamafe a private estate developer in Ogun state vowed to make his profits from his customers who are in need of his building. “Life has not been easy with us, in fact me particularly. Since January cement price has made life difficult for me in the business. The price is not stable, you wake up and discover what you bought last night has jumped twice of its previous price. It’s that bad. I call my supplier every hour to ascertain the cost of cement and am always disappointed to hear increase”, he said adding that, the cost to build 10 houses, now seems not be able to develop more than five at the end of the day due to the rising cost of cement and blocks.” Managing Director of Amorit International Limited Mr. Kayode Oyewole, a developer said the increase in the price of cement has impacted projects negatively. “By the time you consider the high cost of cement, there is no way one would not add to the cost of the houses.” He blamed cement producers for the high price, pointing out that some of them are not circulating the product the way they should. He also enjoined manufacturers to make the product available continuously to solve the problem of scarcity. “There is need for cement manufacturers to always publish their manifest and make it open to members of the public to know the quantity of cement going to one location or the other”, he said. Still, some cement consumers blamed cement producers for the high price, pointing out that some of them are not circulating the product the way they should. Experts have also pointed that the incessant building collapse is not divorced from high cost of cement as individuals and developers might want to cut corners by reducing the quantity of cement required for their construction. But, CMAN chairman attributed the increase in the cost of the commodity to the high cost of haulage. Makoju noted that the high cost of procuring diesel for the heavy duty vehicles that transport cement from the factory to the various depots spread across the country was a major factor in the costing of the commodity. http://www.peoplesdaily-online.com/business/economy/9996-nigerians-groan-under-high-cost-of-cement