Dangote cement responds to inacurate reports about its operations
Dangote Cement Ghana Limited Started operations in Tema on February 10, 2010 as a Cement bagging plant importing bulk Cement from outside ECOWAS. The bagging plant, as it stands today, has over 55million US dollar-investment.
Aside this 55million USD is another 82million US dollars invested in the purchase of 1000 brand new trucks that help us deliver cement free of charge to our customers.
With just about six years of operating here in Ghana, our presence and contributions to the growth of the Ghanaian economy has been greatly felt by almost everybody.
As you may be aware, Dangote Cement is the biggest manufacturer of cement in the whole of Africa with existing and planned operations in 16 African countries. We also boast of having the biggest cement manufacturing plant in the whole of Africa, located at Obajana, Nigeria.
Quality of our products
At the time we entered the Ghanaian market with the highest grade of 42.5R, Ghacem, in their infamous TV commercial, claimed our product was inferior. Today, they were compelled by the market trends to hurriedly introduce the 42.5R grade even though it is more available in newspaper adverts and on billboards than on the market.
We are happy to note that the grade and quality of our cement meet all international and local standards for which reason many more contractors, individuals and estate developers continue to use our brand of cement.
Ghacem and Diamond cement boast of contributing to the economy of Ghana by employing a large number of Ghanaians. For almost 50 years of operations, Ghacem and Diamond cement together employ less than 3000 people.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, within only six years of operating here in Ghana, we have, as of today, over 2000 workforce on our payroll. This figure does not include the 2400 drivers’ mates that assist our drivers on the road and the over 20,000 people who are indirectly benefiting from our operations here in Ghana.
Indeed, one of the objectives of Alhaji Aliko Dangote is to contribute to the economic growth of Ghana through the continuous job creation and the payment of taxes. That is why we are currently the largest employer in the Ghanaian cement industry.
Stability of price of cement
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I am sure you have not forgotten how rampant prices of cement had increased in Ghana few years ago. Today, there had been a considerable stability of the price of cement on the market as a result of our presence.
We have entered the Ghanaian market to offer alternative cement to the present brands in the market. We offer high quality cement at a competitive price. Our focus is on being a reliable supplier of cement, being customer focused and strives to offer the best customer service we can, which is what our customers deserve.
The customers buy the cement based on quality, price, reliability of delivery and customer service. This is where our focus is and the market has noticed the effect of our entry in the Ghanaian market resulting in a stable and even reduced price in the market. We are not participating in smear campaign about our competitors which seems to be their main focus.
We want to assure Ghanaians that with our continuous presence on the market, prices of our products will remain affordable such that those who want to put up houses could have long-term plans and even those who want to rent could pay less as a result of the lower cost of our quality products.
Our expansion plans
Even in the present competitive situation we are still going ahead with the expansion of our activities in Ghana by investing over 100 million USD in a new grinding plant in Takoradi which is expected to come up by the end of 2017. This state-of-the-art plant will come with it a power generation plant. We expect to generate more than 5000 direct employment when completed.
Since we began our operations in Ghana, we have received different forms of attacks from Ghacem. In all of those moments, we chose to concentrate on our business rather than spending time responding to them. Having seen that they are not getting the needed attention and that the good people of Ghana are not on their side, they have begun revising their notes.
Our intelligence reveals that Ghacem, in the coming weeks, intends using the various media outlets to launch fresh attacks on us. We know the media have the capacity to see through these lines. Inasmuch as we do know that you depend largely on advertisement to sustain your operations, we believe strongly that the threat of the withdrawal of adverts by Ghacem, if you do not do their bidding, will not intimidate you. Remain resolute, fair and balanced in your reportage. That, we trust you will continue to do as part of your contributions to building this country. Other inaccuracies being reported in the media
The two-member association of cement manufacturers, where one is a chairman and the other a member, claims we are engaged in dumping activities. A Daily Guide publication of Thursday, October 20, 2016 claims we buy a bag of cement in Nigeria at GHC28.9 and sell at GHC27 Cedis. Whereas we do not fault Daily Guide for the inaccuracy in the report because that was the figure the originator of the story gave them, we thought a simple phone call to our offices would have revealed that the ex-factory price for a bag of Dangote cement is GHC 29.30cedis; and this has been so for more than six months now. This obviously cannot be explained as dumping.
2. Unfair trade practices and evasion of tax
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, Ghacem has since 2010 petitioned almost all governmental agencies in Ghana about this same claim of unfair practices and that we do not pay approved tariffs.
As far back as 2011, the Tariff Advisory board ruled on this claim. At that time, we were paying a 5% tax rate for our bulk import, which of course was what the law says. However, with this same accusation of unfair trade practices, our tax rate was increased by 100%.
Also, we want to have it on record that we pay customs levies, VAT and all taxes so due for our imports from Nigeria. The impression being created is that because of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS), we do not pay any penny on our imports; this is inaccurate.
We also do not know of any 30% subsidy that they claim we enjoy from Nigeria.
3. We do not add value to our cement
We wish to inform you that we add value to our bulk imports at the Tema plant. We supply and transport bulk cement which requires specially designed silos and custom-built containers with mechanized loading and unloading arrangements for the bulk cement. We also bag cement for distribution to the market. Appropriate environmental control measures need to be put in place to avoid fugitive emission of cement during loading, transporting and unloading. If we do not add value, what will we be doing with over 700 workers that operate just at the plant alone?
4. Call on Ghana to ban imports from Nigeria
Regarding the importation of cement to Nigeria, it is important to note that Nigeria is producing its own clinker which is the raw material for the production of cement, hence there is no need to import to Nigeria. Here in Ghana, all the major cement manufacturers are importing clinker to Ghana. This is one critical reason why a similar call for a ban of cement to Ghana is rather misplaced.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, we at Dangote Cement have established ourselves in Ghana to offer the public an alternative to the present brands in Ghana and it is up to the public to choose which brand they prefer to buy. We want to make the public aware of the smear tactic our competitors are engaged in by pointing out to the public the untruths about our operations. We are not afraid of competition. We believe it is healthy and benefits the customer and we will continue to supply high quality cement at competitive prices to our customers.
We conclude by stating that;
1. Dangote cement produces the highest grade of cement unto the Ghanaian market that matches all international standards,
2. We will continue to let our operations add to the stabilization of the price of cement on the market,
3. We will continue to expand to meet the growing demand and employ more people
4. Support Ghanaian governments in building a resilient economy for its people, and
5. Continue to operate within the laws of the country