Executive Director of Ghana's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Henry Kwabena Kokofu has expressed disgust over the construction of a cement factory at Weija in Accra.
The factory, Empire Cement Ghana Ltd, according to the EPA Boss, is producing and distributing cement without authorization.
Empire Cement's new 1Mta cement plant is being built in partnership with Obokom Civil Engineering Ltd and expected to be commissioned in June 2022.
The EPA Boss revealed that the cement company is operating beyond its permit.
He elucidated that the company was given permit to produce cement bags only but the EPA later found out that it was rather manufacturing cement.
He further disclosed that the company petitioned the Sector Minister, Hon Abu Jinapor accusing the EPA of victimisation and enforcing laws arbitrarily, when the latter attempted to have the company closed down.
According to Kokufu, to ensure fairness, the Minister then set up a Committee to look into the matter and the Committee's report proved that Empire Cement Ghana is operating illegally on the site.
Therefore, the Agency has revoked the permit and ordered the company to stop work with immediate effect.
"The report is clear that the company has encroached on the laws of the country. EPA is right...It shouldn't have been there", Mr. Kokofu stated but added the management of the company has ignored the warning, "now, it is 98 percent completed".
Expounding on how the company continued to build despite being ordered to stop, he said; "When it was 2 percent, even 1%, the stop order came. We apprehended them and their staff to the Regional Police Command. The records are there. We were preparing them for court and so forth.
"Stop work, stop work but we are in a country where when you are seriously doing something, then someone is also encouraging it that it even reached a point that in spite of the Minister setting up a Committee and the Committee telling them to stop work, around 8/9/10/11 O'clock, you will find the facility at a certain level. In the morning and afternoon, you won't find no one but in the night, you will see it at a certain level. Now, they are at this point."
However, Mr. Kokofu hined that the company may be demolished soon.
"We have not permitted that facility. Yes! EPA has not permitted; in fact, they have infringed on the rules and regulations and the laws of this country...It can be dismantled!"
He made these comments on Peace FM's morning show "Kokrokoo".
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