Imported cement scuttles GHc50m revenue
The country has lost over GH¢50 million due to the importation of some 500,000 tons of bagged cement, the Cement Manufacturers Association of Ghana (CMAG) has said.
According to the Association, the realistic cost and freight values of imported bagged cement from China must not be less than $80 per tonne but owing to certain ridiculous measures being employed in the calculation of the cost and freight values at the ports, between $25 and $30 per tonne was being charged for imported bagged Chinese cement at the ports.
The association said that it has on countless occasions stressed the need to stop the importation of bagged cement since local manufacturers have installed capacity of about 7.4 million tonnes per annum whereas the current consumption is 5 million tonnes per annum, thereby leaving a surplus of 2.4 million tonnes.
A statement recently issued by the association and signed by its chairman, George Dawson-Ahmoah, said: “It’s mindboggling to see the ascendancy of imports of bagged cement from China despite persistent petitions that the manufacturers have installed capacities to meet local demand.”
It said that the menace poses a setback and challenge to the operations of local manufacturers which comprise GHACEM Limited, Diamond Cement Ghana, Savanna Diamond Cement and Western Diamond Cement.
The association has since April 2015 petitioned the Ministry of Trade, the Tariff Advisory Board, Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Parliamentary Select Committees on Finance and Trade/Industry, among others, on the influx of imported bagged Chinese cement and its attendant negative consequences on the economy and the local cement manufacturing industries.
“Government decided to undertake promotion of made-in-Ghana campaign to increase production and consumption of indigenous goods and services to expand the production capacities of Ghanaian companies. Yet, the expected reduction in Ghana’s imports will dramatically reduce our import bill that piles heavy amounts of pressure on the cedi to reduce its strength.
“Imported bagged cement from China are under-declared.”