SUSTAINABLE CEMENT UTILIZATION IN ENUGU, ENUGU STATE NIGERIA

SUSTAINABLE CEMENT UTILIZATION IN ENUGU, ENUGU STATE NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

The research work examined and analyzed Sustainable Cement Utilization in Enugu, Enugu State Nigeria. The research was carried out between July 2009 and January 2010. Sustainability is the power to use a thing and still keep it going or maintained for the next use. (Oxford Dictionary).

The concept of sustainability now transcends environmental sustainability to embrace economic and social sustainability (Plessis 2001).

Cement is the key element in the rapidly growing construction sector. High cement cost affects people’s ability to build homes or engage in other forms of construction. And this situation is very worrisome in our country with the housing crises we are facing. Cement supply in our country has not met the demand, 41.5% of the cement used in Nigeria is produced within the country and 57.5% imported (Ikponmwosa 2008).

To worsen the situation, the famous Nkalagu Cement has been closed down. The challenge of cement production in Nigeria includes the problem of power supply, gas supply, distribution network as well as infrastructure development. The objective of this research is to investigate sustainable cement utilization in

Enugu production, supply, importation, shortfalls, alternatives and effects

on the environment.

Data were obtained through questionnaires and oral interviews and analyzed using bar charts, percentage and chi-square. It was found out that the socio – economic component of sustainable utilization is the most challenged and this effect is from transportation and production which produces carbondioxde (CO2) and this is very unfriendly to the environment. It the problems of the cement industries are handled, the country will be able to meet

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the demand and one of the steps to achieving this should be the reactivation of the well known Nkalagu Cement in Enugu State.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Sustainability is an integrating and holistic process aiming to restore harmony between the natural and the built environment, and create settlements that affirm human dignity and encourage equity (Yitmen 2005). Sustainability is the power to use a thing and keep it going or maintained for the next use (Oxford Advanced Dictionary). It can also be defined as using the environment and not jeopardizing the opportunity of being used by the next generation (Obiegbu 2005). Sustainability addresses issues of the environment, energy use and people in addition to traditional project goals of cost quality and schedule (Michael 2004). Therefore sustainability generally is using the environment in a very friendly manner and keeping it in a good condition that it can still be used by coming generation.

Sustainability is of increasing importance to the efficient and responsible operation of construction business. it encompasses competitiveness and long – term strategies and combines economic objectives with understanding and operation within limits, increasing resource efficiencies

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and ensuring the social license to operate. The concept of sustainable construction now transcends environmental sustainability to embrace economic and social sustainability, which emphasizes possible value addition to the quality of life of individuals and communities (Plessis 2001).

1.1       BACKGROUD OF THE STUDY

Nigeria’s economic potential is well known and recognized internationally. Notwithstanding, Nigeria is yet to realize this potential and much is still desired before the vision 2020 ‘Housing for ALL’ can be attained.

To attain this goal, the country will need to enhance her economic performance, scored on many key parameters among which are infrastructure. The importance of the provision of adequate housing for all by the year 2020 cannot be overemphasized. Checking scarcity and high cost of building materials and the need to drastically cost reduce critical housing shortages, especially in the urban areas and developing modern housing setups in the rural areas, have encouraged the search for

alternative, innovative and cost effective. As at December 2007 manufacturing capacity of the major producers of cement in Nigeria equals 8.46 metric tones.

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Total consumption of cement in Nigeria as at December 2007 = 11.125 million metric tones of the total consumption of cement in 2007, local manufactures accounted for 42.5% (4.725 million metric tones) only while imports accounted for 58.5% (6.4 million metric tones).

1.2       STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

A sudden reduction in the supply of cement since October 2007 has predictably occasioned sharp fluctuations in its price. Naturally, this is posing serious problems in the construction industry, with implication for cost, housing delivery and the economy. Cement is the key element in the rapidly growing constructing sector. High cement costs affect people’s ability to build homes or engage in other forms of construction. And this situation is very worrisome in our country with the housing crises we are facing.

The fall in cement supply has been attributed to the expiration of licenses to import the material, and failure of the government to issue new ones. It is surprising that neither the government nor the stakeholders anticipated the effect of the import licenses expiration on the cement prices. Otherwise some proactive measures should have been adopted to avoid the present

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situation, which obviously is unpleasant to the generality of consumers.

Most of the cement consumed in Nigeria is imported.

In 2001, it was estimated that the country needed eight million tones of cement, a figure that rose to 11 million tones in 2006. At present the country requires more than 14 million metric tones every year, particularly for the housing sector yet; all the five companies manufacturing cement locally can only generate 2.38 million metric tones or about 21 percent of demand. Not enough cement is produced locally. In view of the 79% shortfall, imported cement is used to fill the gap, but even then not enough is imported. Before the cement import licenses expired on October, 1, 2007, cement prices had stabilized at about #1,250 per bag of 50 kilograms. But since then prices have hovered between #1,350 and # 2500 depending on the geographical location and the brand of cement.

Stakeholders in the constructing and the housing sector are under pressure, building developers are unhappy. In the recent past, some major manufactures and importers of cement imagined the possibility of cement selling at the cost of #1000 per 50kg bag or less.

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Unfortunately this has not happened. Government’s policy of non-interference with market forces, particularly under the OLUSEGUN OBASANJO presidency actually worsened the matter, as price skyrocketed, making overnight billionaires out of some dealers.

A strong public policy that will make cement easily available in the market, at affordable price, is long overdue. High prices will only put industry and make nonsense of government’s calculations and public expectations.

How to bridge the gap between the present reality and future projection in the supply and pricing of cement will remain a thorny issue, but it is not unsurmountable. The federal government needs to renew cement import licenses and allow more companies to import bulk cement. But this can only be a short-team measure.

The minister of commerce and industry, Mr. Charles Ugwu as at 2007 had even recommended as a last resort, the importation of bagged cement as a temporary relief measure. But this could frustrate existing local bagging firms, lead to the loss of jobs and open the gates for an undesirable cement armada. Nothing should be done to frustrate local investments in bagging and cement production. However the challenge before government is to

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initiate and encourage an importation regime that will balance the need to satisfy the country’s immediate requirement for cement, with the necessity to protect local manufacturers. So far the country has made appreciable progress in local manufacturing. Government should be careful not to compromise installed local capacity.

A greater challenge for government is perhaps the need to break an apparent monotony in the cement industry.

Why should a country of our size and population have only five companies producing and / or importing cement? Even among five, one or two are more favored by the government. This has not helped the country, and there is nothing to suggest that it ever will.

October 2007, the United States based Nigerian policy institute (NPI) reported that importation of a 50kg bag of cement into the country costs #350, against the tag of #1350 put on the same by local manufacturers. There is apparently a problem here that government should address if the short-term measure of importation is to make any difference.

Government should encourage more investors in the cement industry. It should promptly reissue expired import license either to their previous

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holders or to new comers with proven ability to deliver. Failure to so act will only compound the problem of availability and high prices. But there should be a dead line to end the reliance on imports. The entire nation is interested in a long-term policy that can maximize local potential for cement manufacturing, provide jobs and stimulate the economy.

1.3        RESEARCH AIM AND OBJECTIVE.

The aim of this research is to study cement utilization within the study area Enugu State Nigeria within the following objectives:

To assess the sustainability of cement supply with respect to demand.

To investigate supply emanating from importation as well as production within the country.

To establish the shortfalls of cement supply from Nigeria cement factory.

To investigate alternatives to cement utilizations in Enugu State construction industries.

1.4     SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

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The subject of this study is on sustainable cement in Enugu State construction industry. The study will investigate the existing distribution and the general consumption by the users.

The study also looks at the shortfalls of cement supply, its causes and possible remedies as well as alternative to the use of cement in Enugu State. If other locally produced materials can substitute for cement, then the effect of cement utilization on the environment. How this is to be reduced as well as alternative route to producing cement without a harmful effect.

There were limitations to information concerning the quantity of cement produced within the country because the dealers only this products in bags and may not be able to tell if it was imported in bulk and then bagged; equally much publication was not made on the same matter. There was no up to date information of production consumption and importation of cement in Nigeria as this comes may be at the end of every two years. The dealers on cemen





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