Ghanaian News

Trade Minister orders uniform cement prices across country

The Minister of Trade and Industry, K. T. Hammond, has directed the newly constituted Cement Manufacturing Development Committee to ensure uniformity in cement prices nationwide.

Drawing a parallel between the cement and the petroleum retail sectors, where pump prices in the latter are consistent across the country, Mr Hammond emphasised the need for a similar pricing structure in the cement industry to promote price stability and uniformity.

He also emphasised the need for retail prices to be reasonably close to factory prices, urging against significant markups.

The minister gave the directives in Accra last Friday when he swore in members of the newly established Cement Manufacturing Development Committee, which is now responsible for the regulation of the cement industry.

The industry had operated without regulatory oversight over the years.

The committee was established in accordance with the Ghana Standards Authority (Manufacture of Cement) Regulations, 2023 (LI 2480), which mandates the establishment of a nine-member committee to oversee the development and growth of the local manufacture of cement, and to monitor and coordinate activities in the manufacture of cement in line with the stipulations of the legislative instrument.

Chaired by the Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Professor Alex Dodoo, the nine-member committee includes Francis Kojo Eshun also from the GSA.

The rest are Kofi Addo of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Gyimah Mohammed of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Saeed Foroco of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Ebenezer Kwesi Haizel of the Ghana Institution of Engineering.

The committee also has Dr Frank Huber representing the Association of Ghana Industries, Bishop Dr George Dawson Ahmoah from the Chamber of Cement Manufacturers of Ghana, and Dr Mark Bediako, an expert in the manufacture of cement, nominated by the minister.

Mr Hammond told the Daily Graphic in an interview that legislative measures were put in place to regulate the industry as a result of the challenges associated with the quality and standards within the manufacturing sector.

“This legislation paved the way for the establishment of the committee to oversee pricing practices and ensure compliance with set standards,” he said.

Addressing concerns about substandard products in the industry, Mr Hammond instructed the committee to closely monitor operations, particularly those of three Chinese-owned manufacturers in the Ashanti Region that were shut down last year due to non-compliance and the use of substandard raw materials in their production.

He highlighted two entities operating without permits and urged swift action to rectify their status.

Emphasising transparency and public awareness, Mr Hammond stressed the importance of informing the nation about the committee’s role and the regulatory framework in place.

The minister underscored his vision for consistent retail prices across the country, emphasising that factory and retail prices should be maintained at reasonable margins to prevent price discrepancies.

As a result, he instructed the cement manufacturers to publish their factory prices in newspapers with nationwide circulation to inform the consuming public.

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