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SON accused of trying to create a monopoly in Nigeria

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World Cement,

Further to our report on the impact of new cement standards in Nigeria, the topic is still being widely discussed in the local media. The Alliance Against Monopoly group (AAN), has reportedly given the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) 7 days to change its decision on the 60-day compliance deadline for cement producers to meet the new standards. AAN says producers need more like 6 months to prepare for the switch. This Day Live quotes the president of the group, who said: “The 60-day ultimatum given to cement manufacturers by SON was pre-dated by the ill-advised policy on cement standardisation which attempts to, through the back door, introduce unwholesome monopoly in an otherwise clement cement industry in Nigeria”. Presumably this is a reference to the fact that unlike many of its competitors, Dangote Cement is in favour of the new standards and is already prepared to meet the new regulations.

Meanwhile, WorldStage reports that the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) fears the new standards will risk thousands of jobs, saying that plants that are unable to meet the standards will have to shutdown to make the necessary amendments to the process. The TUC says it is committed to helping eliminate building collapses in the country, but would suggest that the SON should focus its attention on the whole chain of the construction industry, saying that 32.5 grade cement is not the problem. The TUC is in agreement with AAN that the standards are being pursued to create a monopoly in the industry and asks the Federal Government and SON to further consult with stakeholders.

Edited from various sources by

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