Local cement supply short of demand – Spio Garbrah
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Ekwow Spio Garbrah has told Citi Business News Ghana does not possess the capacity yet to provide the needed quantity of cement to satisfy the country’s cement demand.
According to him, the quantity manufactured in Ghana is not enough to meet demand.
“The ministry is actually seeking an independent audit of the occasional capacity of the cement manufacturers. If there was enough capacity why are new investors trying to come into the cement industry. However for people to make wild accusations and pretend as if the ministry has committed an offence, or has gone against the law or should have sought the advice and the approval of the manufacturers before allowing an importer to import, all these are totally false,” he echoed.
He added, “Maybe the cement manufacturers are not aware that there are many highway projects that are coming up like the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange. Have you seen how much cement has gone into those bridges?”
Dr. Spio Garbrah further argued that although the outfit is advocating for made in Ghana products, the demand for cement is higher than supply, thus forcing government to import some to satisfy demand in Ghana.
“We are promoting the made in Ghana campaign but the fact that we want Ghanaians to drink beer has not made us ban imports. The fact that we want Ghanaians to wear made in Ghana clothes has not made us ban clothes imports. The fact that we want Ghanaians to but a whole lot of products made in Ghana has not led to the banning of any of those products.”
Dr. Spio Garbrah who was recently criticized by the Cement Manufacturers Association of Ghana for going against the Legislative Instrument, says he is hopeful Ghana will halt the importation of the products soon.
“We are interested in protecting local industries. So we are working around the clock to ensure the best for these local manufacturers.”
Cement manufacturers lash out at Trade Minister
Earlier, the Cement Manufacturers’ Association of Ghana lashed out at the Trade Minister for granting permit to a foreign Chinese company (Fujian) to import 500 metric tons of cement into the country.
The association argued that the minister’s action contradicted the Legislative Instrument and must not be entertained.
Spokesperson for the Cement Manufacturers Association of Ghana Dr George Dawson Amoah demanded an apology from the Minister.
“The minister can never work without the cement monitoring…I just want to make it very clear that with this very issue, the minister should be bold and apologize because he can never defend himself. What the minister did is absolutely in contradiction of the Legislative Instrument,” Dr. Amoah stressed.