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Dangote cement calls for healthy competition from Ghacem and Diamond cement

MD/CEO of Dangote cement Ghana Limited, Tor Nygard has asserted that the days of monopoly is far gone and that the Ghanaian cement industry should be opened for healthy competition. He said this at a press conference held in Tema at Ave Maria hotel.

He revealed that efforts are being made by their competitors to suppress or kick Dangote cement out of business due to the quality products they are offering to the market. He stated emphatically that they are concentrated on producing quality cements and not to attack as their competitors are doing in their commercials.

Mr. Tor Nygard also responded to some "inaccurate" claims made by The Ghana Association of Cement Manufactures about their operations in the country at the conference.

In addressing the press he stated that the two-member Association of cement manufacturers which consists of Ghacem and Diamond cement made claims that they are engaged in dumping activities. According to the CEO there was a publication which reported that Dangote cement buys cements at high cost from Nigeria and sells them at a lower price in Ghana. Mr Nygard disclosed that the company has maintained it's GHC 29.30 cedis for the past six months.

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He tackled the issue of Dangote cement engaging in unfair trade practices and evasion of tax, according to him since 2011 the company has been paying 100% tax rate although they use to enjoy a 5% tax rate on bulk import but that has been taken off due to petitions that Ghacem sent to almost all governmental agencies. He stated for a fact that they pay all customs levies, VAT and all taxes for their import from Nigeria. Mr Nygard said it is inaccurate for their competitors to say that because of ECOWAS Trade liberalization scheme (ETLS) they do not pay any penny on imports. He maintained that they do not know anything about a 30% subsidy from Nigeria.

He further mentioned that there is value added to their bulk import Tema plant supply and transport bulk cement which requires specially designed silos and custom-built containers with mechanized loading and unloading arrangement for the bulk cement. He also said that with their over 700 workers just at the plant, they can do nothing than to add value.

Mr. Tor Nygard explain that Ghacem's call on the state to ban import from Nigeria in to the country is rather misplaced because Nigeria produces it's own clinker which is the raw material for the production of cement, hence there is a need to import cement from Nigeria. He stated that all the major cement manufacturers in Ghana import clinker from other countries.

Source: Nii Ayi Mensah Lartey

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