Cement manufacturers in Ghana applaud the government for the ban on permits for new cement companies

The Executive Secretary of Cement Manufacturers Association of Ghana (CMAG), Rev Dr George Dawson-Ahmoah, has welcomed the government’s decision to halt the licensing of new cement companies in the country.

Rev Dr George Dawson-Ahmoah

He said that the association had always believed that it is not economically viable to open new cement factories. He explained that this was not economically sustainable for competition but will rather let some manufacturers compromise on product quality.

This is coming after Deputy Minister of Trade, Carlos Ahenkoraah said that it will no longer issue permits to companies that want to set up cement processing plants in the country.

Deputy Minister of Trade, Carlos Ahenkoraah said the ministry is also putting measures in place to prevent the importation of the product to protect and encourage the growth of existing cement processing companies.

Mr Ahenkorah said that the temporary ban and the restrictions on imports were meant to support the current eight cement manufacturers that operated in unfair competition.

"The ministry has taken note of the challenges in the industry and has decided not to increase the number of cement factories in the near future. Secondly, we have tried very hard to prevent the importation of the products into the country."

He said that the country has eight processors with installed capacity cement production was about 13 million tonnes annually. However, only half was utilised, leaving an excess capacity of 6.5 million tonnes.

He said the government is deliberately taking steps to ensure the surplus cement is exported to neighbouring countries.

The eight are Ghacem Limited, CIMAF Ghana Limited, Diamond Cement Group, Dangote Cement Ghana Limited, CBI Ghana Limited, Wan Heng Ghana Limited, Xin Ann Safe Cement Limited and Pozzolana Ghana Limited (PGL).

However, Dr Dawson-Ahmoah said the consumption pattern shows a low utilisation rate by the local cement industry players. This he said can lead to loss of jobs, a lower financial obligation to Government and the eventual folding up of most of the local industry.

He said the ban came at the right time to save the industry from collapse.

He was optimistic that the ban will also address unfair trade practices and allow manufacturers to focus on quality.

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