Despite Dollar crash building materials prices remain high

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Building materials prices remain high despite Dollar crash.

Prices of building materials have remained unchanged in spite of the Naira appreciating in value at the foreign exchange market.

Some said in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday said prices remained unchanged because they bought the goods when the exchange rate of the dollar to naira was one dollar to over N500.

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Peter Okechukwu who sells iron rods said he bought the materials when naira was N520 to the dollar. Okechukwu said although the naira was appreciating in value against major international currencies, he would not sell the products below the cost price. ‘`It is good a thing that the naira is gaining strength against the dollar but I have to sell my products to make some gain,’’ he said.

Another example is Mr Gabriel Okereke who said that for two days he had not made any sales because people expected the prices of goods to drop immediately. He said the prices of building materials would not drop immediately because the traders needed to sell off their old stocks which they brought when the naira had low value. “I have some products in my warehouse which I believe I will sell before the prices of things will go down,’’ Okereke said.

Another trader, Mr Polycarp Nzeli, who sells different types of building materials, said before the end of the month the prices of goods would drop. Nzeli appealed to people to show understanding with them because most of their goods were brought in December and January 2017 when the value of the naira was low. According to him, it is not the best of times for dealers in building material products as business activities have remained relatively low.

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Mr Moses Ibanga, who came to buy some building materials, said he thought prices had dropped since the naira had appreciated in value. Ibanga said he would wait till prices dropped considering that building materials were not like foodstuffs that perished in a short time. “I will suspend my building work till the prices of things come down, I believe by April, we will smile again,’’ he said.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) increased liquidity in the foreign exchange market with additional 180 million dollars for the settlement of various transactions.

CBN spokesman, Mr Isaac Okorafor, had said that the bank’s intermediation in the forex market is to ease the pressures on Nigerians to access foreign exchange to meet their Dollar and international currencies payments obligations.

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