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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

KT Hammond to lay LI on cement price regulation amid boycott from manufacturers

A meeting was scheduled between the Trade and Industry Minister and major players in the cement industry to discuss the LI, but the latter boycotted it. Representatives from major cement manufacturers, including GHACEM, Dangote, CBI, Cimaf, and Diamond Cement, boycotted the stakeholder meeting.

The boycott was triggered by the unexpected presence of the media at the Ministry’s premises. The representatives stated that the meeting was intended to be a closed-door session. They expressed their surprise and dissatisfaction with the Minister’s decision to invite the media without prior notice, leading them to walk out of the engagement.

Despite the boycott, KT Hammond insisted on including the media in the meeting. He proceeded to address the journalists, emphasising his commitment to protecting the interests of the state.

A recent investigation by GBC Ghana Online has shown that the cost of cement has surged dramatically over the past week. In May 2024, cement was priced between GH¢85 to GH¢90 per bag, depending on the brand and quality. As of 4 June 2024, prices have escalated to about GH¢110, based on reports from dealers in Pokuase.

Specific prices from various dealers reveal the extent of the increase: Dzata cement (42R) is now selling at GH¢108, Cimaf cement (42R) at GH¢107, Cimaf cement (32R) at GH¢87, and Ghacem cement (42R) at GH¢110, the highest in the market. Meanwhile, Diamond cement ranges from GH¢75 to GH¢85, and Dangote cement is priced between GH¢92 and GH¢94.

In response to these rising costs, Minister of Trade and Industry Kobina Tahir Hammond recently called for an immediate rollback of the price increases. On 15 May 2024, the Ministry issued a statement urging the Cement Manufacturing Development Committee (CMDC) to ensure compliance with this directive and to standardise cement prices across the country.

The CMDC, which operates under the Ghana Standards Authority (Manufacture of Cement) Regulations, 2023 (Ll 2480), is tasked with regulating cement production and distribution. The Committee includes members from cement manufacturing companies, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), the Environmental Protection Agency, the Ghana Institution of Engineers, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), and the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.

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