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House of Reps warned against criticizing Dangote, Bua, others

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The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise has expressed worry over recent remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives on cement prices, which allegedly represented cement manufacturers negatively.

According to a statement signed by CPPE CEO Muda Yusuf, the majority of the remarks made at the session had the potential to incite the public against the manufacturers, jeopardizing their massive investments.

It went on to say that it was even more problematic that the members had not listened to the manufacturers before jumping to conclusions and criticizing them.

The statement read in part, “Members alleged that the manufacturers were exploitative as they engaged in arbitrary fixing of cement prices. Some members even described the manufacturers as unpatriotic.

“These were narratives on the floor of the house that we consider to be most unfair to investors in the cement sector, especially when the perspectives of the cement manufacturers had not been heard by the members of the house.”

According to the CPPE, manufacturers of the commodity were disparaged, denigrated, and represented as purposely causing misery to Nigerians by arbitrarily raising cement prices.

The center, which criticized the statements as unfair, stated that such serious claims should be based on thorough research, empirical facts, and evidence.

It went on to say that such comments conveyed a poor signal to an economy looking to industrialize, attract investment, and generate jobs.

The CPPE stated that the principles of fairness require that the manufacturers of the commodity relate their tales before members can reach a fair decision and verdict.

It added, “But regrettably, they have been judged publicly before allowing them to present their side of the story. We believe this is a breach of the norms and standards of fairness and equity.

“The business of manufacturing is perhaps the most challenging enterprise in the contemporary Nigerian economy. Many foreign firms in that space have either exited the country or downsized their operations.”

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