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‘No Cement Monopoly’
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Dr. George Dawson-Ahmoah, Strategy & Corporate Affairs Director of GHACEM, has stated that no monopoly or duopoly exists in Ghana’s cement industry.

Reacting to a publication in the June 19, 2012 edition of Graphic Business captioned “Break Cement Duopoly – World Bank”. Dr. Dawson-Ahmoah said GHACEM’s monopoly was broken 12 years ago by WACEM, producers of Diamond Cement, who operate from Aflao in the Volta region.

“Since then, other players like Greenview International Limited which operates in Tema Community 2, Savanna Cement, which operates from Buipe in the Northern Region and also Fortress International which imports bagged cement,” he said.

Dr. Dawson re-emphasized that Ghana has a trade liberalization policy which allows businesses interested in importing any product or establishing manufacturing units to do so “provided they obey our regulations.”

He further indicated that GHACEM, the market leader, cannot prevent competition in the industry even though it will not hesitate to fight any unfairness.

He referred to an example of unfair competition which warranted a joint petition from GHACEM and Diamond Cement in 2010 against a concessionary rate of 5 percent import duty which Greenview International Limited, a Nigeria-based cement importer, benefitted from.

The basis for the concessionary rate, he stated, was that the imported bulk cement was erroneously classified as raw material for manufacturing, contrary to the provisions in the Customs Harmonized Code.

“This petition was investigated by the government who though took several months to respond, saw the merit in it and thereby ruled on a concessionary rate of 10 percent for Greenview International Limited, instead of the 5 percent concessionary rate.”

Dr. Dawson-Ahmoah indicated that GHACEM’s main pre-occupied position is to ensure adequate cement distribution in the market since it recognizes the importance of cement in Ghana’s economic growth.

He said the Tema factory of GHACEM by the end of 2012 will have an additional capacity of 1 million tons earmarked to meet the growing demand of cement in the country.

GHACEM’s present capacity is 1.2 million tons per annum.

After November, this year, GHACEM will be increasing its capacity in Tema to 2.2 million tons per annum. This will be replicated at its Takoradi production plant soon after the commissioning of the Tema plant.

Commenting on GHACEM’s corporate social responsibility, Dr. Dawson-Ahmoah re-affirmed GHACEM’s commitment to assisting schools and hospitals by improving their infrastructure under its Cement Foundation programme.

So far, about 300,000 bags of cement equivalent to over $2million have been donated to over 2,000 communities across the length and breadth of the country.
Source: Daily Guide

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