Sellers bemoan the high cost of building materials | The Guardian Nigeria News

Building materials traders are concerned about the high cost of building materials, including plywood, paints and nails. They said the situation led to poor sales as most customers could no longer afford the items.

Expressing concern over inflation which has led to the high cost of such items, Amao Yusuf, who sells nails and brushes at Idera Plank Market, Isolo, said the situation has led to poor sales.

He said: “There is nothing you touch in the market that hasn’t gone up in price. It’s not even the ones we’re used to; things that have increased slightly.

“We’ve had to explain to our customers the situation we’re in, but you can’t force anyone to buy when they don’t have the money.

“People can no longer build houses because the cost of building materials is no longer affordable. You’re not even sure what price you’ll get when you hit the market today,” he said.

Yusuf does not consider the possibility of a reduction in the cost of building materials, stating: “When you talk about the upcoming drop in material prices, it is not possible unless there is a big change from the government.

“You know, when prices go up in Nigeria, it doesn’t come down easily because some people see it as an opportunity to increase their profits.”

He called on the government to intervene by adopting policies that will make the production of construction materials cheaper, while relaxing the laws on importing these materials from abroad.

Another trader, Bello Abiodun, said the high cost of building materials led to poor footfall, lamenting that their regular customers stayed away from the market.

“Between 1996 and 2010, I had about 200 customers, who usually came to buy equipment from me. But since 2015, my clients have dropped to around 100 or less because rising costs affect everyone,” he added.

Rising material costs, according to Bello Hajarat, have led to reduced profits, especially over the past two years.

“We tried to deal with the situation. The profit has really gone down and it is affecting my stock. We can’t even compare last year’s earnings to this year’s, let alone the last two or three years.

Plywood, from which we used to make up to N1,000 in profit, now barely earns us N200. And we can’t raise the price of the product anyway. We are considerate so that it doesn’t affect customers and drive them away,” she said.

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