Builders’ merchants are concerned about the high cost of building materials, including plywood, paint and nails. They said the situation has resulted in poor sales as most customers can no longer afford the items.
Amao Yusuf, who sells nails and painting brushes at Idera Plank Market in Isolo, expressed concern about inflation, which has led to the high cost of these items, saying the situation has led to poor sales.
He said: “There is nothing you touch in the market that has not gone up in price. It’s not even about the ones we’re used to; Things that have increased slightly.
“We were forced to explain our situation to our customers, but you can’t force someone to buy if they don’t have money.
“People can no longer build houses because the building material costs are no longer affordable. You’re not even sure what price you’re going to get when you launch today,” he said.
Yusuf sees no way to reduce the cost of building materials, saying: “If you’re talking about material prices going down soon, it’s not possible unless there’s a big change from the government side.
“You know, when prices go up in Nigeria, it’s not so easy because some people see it as an opportunity to increase their profits.”
He called on the government to step in by issuing policies that would make building materials cheaper to produce while relaxing import laws on foreign-sourced materials.
Another trader, Bello Abiodun, said the high cost of building materials led to poor patronage and lamented that their usual customers stayed away from the market.
“Between 1996 and 2010 I had about 200 customers who usually buy materials from me. But since 2015, my clients have dropped to about 100 or fewer because the rising costs are affecting everyone,” he added.
According to Bello Hajarat, rising material costs have led to lower profits, especially in the last two years.
“We tried to deal with the situation. The profit has really decreased and is affecting my stocks. We can’t even compare last year’s earnings to this year, let alone the last two or three years.
“The plywood that used to make us up to N1,000 in profit is now barely making N200. And we can’t increase the price of the product anyway. We’re considerate so it doesn’t affect customers and drive them away,” she said.