Boost For Local Cement Producers

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has given a public notice of its intended executive action aimed at protecting the local cement industry from cheap imports.

A statement signed by the sector minister, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, said in recent months, there had been claims and counter claims from different groups in the cement import and distribution sector.

“Currently, cement manufacturers in Ghana have a production capacity of nearly nine million metric tonnes per year, while national consumption is less than six million; this means an overcapacity of some three million tonnes per annum.

“Current imports of more than one million tonnes of cement per annum places additional pressure on local manufacturers,” it said.

“The conflicts in the industry have led to the filling of competing petitions by local cement manufacturers and the cement importers. The standoff is unhealthy,” the statement said.

It said in order to bring sanity into the sector and relief to local manufacturers and facilitate international trade, the Ministry of Trade and Industry proposes through Legislative Instrument to impose a ceiling on the annual importation of cement into Ghana.

It observed that companies that wish to import bagged cement shall be issued a permit to avoid the chaos that had lately saddled the sector.