‘Don’t cartel cement pricing’ – gov’t cautions cement manufacturers

Dep. Minister of Trade and Industry, Carlos Ahenkorah

Government has warned cement manufacturers to keep their prices reasonable and to desist from forming a pricing cartel, which it says works against the quest to ensure every citizen gets a decent place to lay their heads.

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, while speaking at CIMAF Ghana’s 3rd anniversary celebration and customer awards in Accra noted that the government has confidence in the eight licenced producers, but will not hesitate in taking drastic action to protect consumers – including having to lift the ban on importation of cement if it realises a is cartel trying to control pricing.

The eight producers have a total installed capacity of 13 million tonnes per year, which is more than the current market demand of about 6.5 million per annum.

“If all these eight companies continue to produce at full capacity, then about some extra seven to eight million tonnes of cement must find its way out of the country,” he said.

“Because of this situation – excess capacity – government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry is going to ensure that we do not licence any new cement producer in the near future.

“This will be the case for a very long time to come, except when you – the cement manufacturing companies – decide to turn yourselves into a cartel to inflate prices,” he said.

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The minister also pleaded with the president of CIMAF to implement the end-to-end integrated system of operation that is being done in Morocco – wherein limestone is picked and processed straight into cement – here in Ghana.

“We have the limestone here in Ghana; we only need to put some more money into exploration. So, I would urge you to invest some more money into exploration and we will help you with the necessary support to make Ghana your hub in West Africa,” he said.

The Director, Sales and Marketing-CIMAF, Joseph Kobina Aboo, said that even though the cement manufacturing sector is highly competitive, “demand for our brand at the nearest vending point alone gives us great hope for a better future, especially in the construction field”.

To distributors and the company’s partners he said: “We are spreading our wings because we have loyal distributors like you. We have you at heart and we will work for you. Customer satisfaction is very important to us, and so we urge you to engage us increasing – as was done in the previous year”.

The awards were in five categories: namely appreciation, industrial, promising, regional and national.

At the national level, Nana K. Gyasi Company Limited, dealer in building materials, was honoured with the Best National Performance award for its immense contribution to the brand’s growth.

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Daavi Bless Enterprise and Fullness Cement Company were adjudged Best National Performance/most Promising and Best National Performance/Loyalty, respectively.

Other winners include KK Peprah Company Ltd., Greater Accra – Regional Best Performance; Jacob78 Ent., Upper West Regional Best Performance; Permafix Industries Ltd. – Industrial Best Performance Award; and Elizabeth Buadu Enterprise, Ashanti Region – Appreciation Award.

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