Breaking the Cement Ceiling: IPOB’s Push to Lift Ibeto Ban and Lower Prices


The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have voiced concerns over the soaring cost of cement in Nigeria, particularly highlighting the impact on affordability for Nigerians, especially the Igbo people. Central to their concerns is the ban on Ibeto Cement, which they argue has contributed to the high prices in the market.

Ibeto Group, known for selling cement at affordable prices, faced a setback during Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s presidency when the government ordered the closure of its Port Harcourt plant over accusations of re-bagging cement instead of manufacturing it. This move was perceived by many, including IPOB, as a political rather than an economic decision, especially as Ibeto was expecting a large shipment of bulk cement at the time.

The ban on Ibeto Cement has had ripple effects, leading to a significant increase in cement prices across the country. Retailers in Abuja reported prices ranging from N10,000 to N15,000 per 50-kilogram bag, a stark contrast to the N6,000 price reported in January 2023. This price surge has made it challenging for many Nigerians to afford housing, with IPOB attributing the situation to government-backed monopolies in the cement industry.

IPOB has called for the ban on Ibeto Cement to be lifted, emphasizing the need to promote competition in the market. They argue that lifting the ban would not only lead to lower cement prices but also stimulate economic growth by creating jobs and fostering a more competitive market.

The reopening of Ibeto Cement’s plant, as ordered by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, could have far-reaching effects on the Nigerian economy. It has the potential to increase the supply of cement in the market, create jobs, and ultimately reduce the price of the product. Additionally, for the Igbo people in the southeast, where Ibeto Cement is based, the reopening could provide much-needed economic opportunities and help dispel perceptions of marginalization. In conclusion, IPOB’s advocacy for lifting the ban on Ibeto Cement is not just about addressing affordability in the cement industry; it is about promoting a fair and competitive market that benefits all Nigerians. As the government considers this call, it has an opportunity to not only alleviate the burden of high cement prices but also promote economic inclusivity and growth across the country

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