Some Cement sellers in different markets and shops in Abia State have complained about the negative effects, brought upon their businesses by reported reduction in the prices of the product. The development, they said, is bringing confusion to their trade and affecting customer confidence in them.
The traders who spoke to News Echo in Aba, Umuahia and Akara junction along Umuahia–Uzuakoli–item road, said they were finding it hard selling Cement at the ‘normal’ rate because of reported crashing of Cement price, said to have been carried out by BUA Cement and Dangote Cement.
According to the Cement dealers, the reports on the social media about the reported crashing of Cement price, has put pressure on the bags of Cement already stocked in their shops. They complained that that many customers who approached their shops, requested that Cement be sold to them at either N3, 500 or below.
According to a trader at industrial market in Aba, Chuks Simon and his counterpart in Umuahia industrial market, Divine Nwandu, some customers have been flooding their shops with the requests that they should sell Dangote and BUA Cement at ‘reduced’ price of N2,700 and N3,500 respectively.
This, according to the traders, is happening even when the Management of Dangote Cement has instantly disowned the reports that it crashed Cement price. Divine Nwandu who spoke on the situation, said any reduction in price cannot be possible unless the dealers in the Cement business were properly briefed.
“I am being inundated every day by questions from my customers who come with the claims that Cement is now cheap. But I usually ask them, how can I sell them to you below 4,000 when I bought them at far more amount of money?” He continued: “Customers don’t believe us again.
They only believe everything they read on social media. That is why BUA and Dangote Cement companies should immediately take firm and official stand on this issue”. Another major dealer at Aba who spoke under anonymity, said it was not the right of manufacturers to fix prices as the market is a liberal sector where market forces determine how much goods are sold.
“Price reductions are agreed at round table meeting involving dealers. It is not done through social media. Okay, if the reduce the price per bag, would they also provide us the free transportation to bring the goods from the manufacturing factories” the trader thundered.
Efforts by the correspondent to speak with the major distributor of Dangote and BUA Cement brands in Abia State, Obioma Enterprises did not yield fruit as staff of the company said they would not respond to the matter at the point of the enquiry. However, the management of Dangote Cement PLC has through a statement, denied reducing the price of a bag of their Cement brand to about N2,700, as claimed by some social media reports.