The Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Cement Ghana Limited, Tor Nygard, has appealed to the government to ban the importation of cheap and inferior cement brands from
China to protect the local cement industry.
According to Mr Nygard, the cement industry, which employs thousands of Ghanaians and generates huge sums of revenue for the government in terms of taxes,could meet the local demand and generate more revenue for the state when given the support.
Interacting with reporters at a media tour at the company’s office at Tema last Friday, Mr. Nygard
said the local cement industry was struggling to compete with importers of cheap and inferior cement brands who pay very little duties on their imports.
Like the textile industry, he said a ban on the importation of inferior cement would create the opportunity for the local cement manufacturing companies to expand, create more jobs, and support the growth of the Ghanaian economy.
He said Dangote Cement alone had created over 700 jobs for Ghanaians and, last year, paid GHȼ75.5 million in taxes to the government.
In the first quarter of this year,he said the company had paid about GHȼ37 million taxes to the government and was in the process of recruiting over 1,000 drivers.
“We are in the process of adding 1,000 trucks to our fleet.
The trucks will arrive in the next six weeks,” he said and added that the move would create jobs for over 1,000 drivers.
Mr. Nygard indicated that the company would soon establish another plant at Takoradi in the Western Region and expand its operations to the western and northern part of the country.
He said Dangote Cement Ghana Limited had plans to extend its operations to neighbouring West African countries and indicated that when given the necessary protection from the inferior Chinese cement, other players in the industry could expand their business at a fast pace, create more employment and support the economy.
The Marketing Manager of the company, Samuel Alboo, supported the call for a ban on the importation of inferior cement from China and argued that the Chinese brands were heavily polluted and affected the quality of buildings.
“If we do not ban these inferior imports, the growth of the industry will be affected.
We should not wait and allow what happened to the textile industry to happen to the cement industry before we ban such imports,” he said.
He said despite the competition from the inferior products,
Dangote Cement had been able to compete since it was incorporated about five years ago and had embarked on several corporate social responsibilities (CSR).
He indicated that the company had supported the military, police, and helped renovate a number of schools in deprived communities.
By Yaw Kyei