GHACEM Limited has presented a cheque for GH¢2.2 million to the Government, representing an interim dividend payment for 2015.
The dividend, which was declared at the company’s annual general meeting, represents government’s 400,000 shares held in the company.
Mr. Morten Gade, the Managing Director of Ghacem, accompanied by the Strategy and Corporate Affairs Director, Reverend. Dr. George Dawson-Ahmoah, presented the cheque at a short ceremony at the Finance Ministry.
He said the company deemed it appropriate to contribute its quota towards national development by honouring all its financial obligations, of which dividend payment was no exception.
Mr Gade said, however, that the effort could only be sustained if the government continued to support the cement industry by ensuring a level playing field for all players.
“The influx of imported bagged cement in the country is seriously affecting us, and if this is not checked, local industries like Ghacem cannot survive. We need a conducive environment to operate and grow,” he stated.
For his part, Dr. Dawson-Ahmoah reaffirmed that with a current surplus capacity of over two million tonnes per annum, local cement manufacturing companies had the installed capacities to meet the local demand for cement, as such there was no need to entertain dumping of foreign cement.
Mr. Cassiel Ato Forson, Deputy Minister of Finance, who received the cheque on behalf of government, observed that Ghacem’s consistency in paying dividend showed a genuine commitment towards its shareholders and a good sign that it took corporate governance serious.
“Government is seriously investigating the problem of local cement companies’ ability to compete,” he said, adding that “local industries are the driving force of the economy, as such we will do whatever is possible to protect them.”