Business News Tue, 20 Apr 2021

Regional Report: Business owners decry shortage of cement in Bolgatanga

Correspondence from Upper East:

With barely a month to drift into the rainy season in the Upper East Region, Bolgatanga has been hit by a shortage of cement.

This is a time where many try to make hay while the sun shines; people are doing major renovation works and filling up cracked walls to avert the collapsing of their homes when the rains set in.

Ghanaweb's Upper East Regional correspondent, Sarah Dubure, interacted with some cement dealers in Bolgatanga, to find out more about the development.

In a visit to Mr. Fatawu Akaribo's shop, GhanaWeb spotted only 2 bags of cement available in the shop. However, according to him, the two had already been paid for.

Mr. Akaribo explained that his shop was fully stocked on Sunday, but because of the high demand, he is now out of stock on Tuesday.

He noted that initially, anytime he requested cement, the suppliers supplied them within two to three days, but currently, it takes as long as a week for them to get their supply.

A cement shop attendant, Rukaya Rufai, confirmed that there is a shortage of cement in Bolgatanga, which has led to an increase in price.

She added that the situation was more serious with the GHACEM brand of cement.

"Unless you have a very good distributor who knows people down there, you are not going to get it any moment now. So we are just managing with this," She said.

She observed that despite the constant price hike and complaints from people in that regard, patronage was very good.

"People complain about it, but there is no choice, they keep on buying them. I don't know whether to say because of the coming raining season, people are buying. We just got 200 bags on Sunday, and today is Wednesday, it is almost finished. We have just 60 bags left," She pointed.

Another cement shop attendant, Fatawu Alalinga, also intimated that a lot of people have been complaining about the hike in the price of cement, and yet they buy, because of the impending rainy season.

He explained that when they stock the shop with 500 bags of cement, it finishes within just two days. He however indicated that, unlike others who always have to wait for some time before getting restocked, their case was different, since his boss is a supplier.

Another cement dealer, Mr. Eric Akokre, also confirmed that the commodity has become scarce on the market, for the past two months. He also indicated that the cause of the situation has been attributed to the erratic power supply and the exchange rate.

He lamented that anytime he paid for supply, it took as long as a month to get his stock. He however intimated that patronage was positive since he sold everything within two to three weeks upon supply.

"Patronage will come, but at least, it can take maybe two or three weeks to sell it, but if you do the payment, it will take another one month before it comes.

Another cement dealer, madam Diana Ndoor, also confirmed the situation and noted that she ran out of cement at a point, and it took three weeks for her to get her stock.

She observed that business was always slow during the rainy season, but takes a positive turn during the months of February and March.

Watch the video below:

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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