Demo Hits Dangote Cement

Some youth  in Aflao are mounting pressure on government to make Dangote establish a cement factory in Ghana.

Dangote Cement has been operating in Ghana since 2010. It initially opened a terminal in Tema, Ghana where imported bulk cement was bagged and sold to Ghanaians.

However for some time now the company is bringing in already bagged cement from its Nigeria base for sale in Ghana.

The company’s website indicates that it has met all necessary requirements and documentation to do business in Ghana.

However, some youth in Aflao, say the modus operandi of Dangote cement is collapsing local cement producing companies.

To this end, they have hit the streets of Aflao to demonstrate and register their displeasure at the development. This follows a press conference held about a month ago on the same issue.

According to them, they are not against Dangote Cement as a company but against their operations which are causing more loss than gain to the country.

The petition of the youth said they were disappointed that Dangote had backtracked from its initial promise to expand the Tema terminal and also construct a facility in Takoradi in the Western Region to grind, mix and bag cement for sale.

The expansion work at Tema and the Takoradi project are expected to produce three million tonnes of cement, according to the Vice Chairman of the Company, Alhaji Tajudeen A. Sijuade.

The youth referred to a report of Dangote Cement Company which indicated plans to purchase 2000 trucks to export bagged cement from Nigeria to Ghana, a development which is now evident in the border community where trucks of Dangote cement line up virtually every week in transit to other parts of the country while some of them are off-loaded into retail shops in Aflao.

This development, the demonstrators said, is creating unfair competition for local cement companies like Diamond and Ghacem Cement and reducing employment rate in the industry.

They said whereas the two local companies are making tangible investments into the Ghanaian economy by way of building factories and employment, Dangote and others like the Chinese are simply dumping cement onto the Ghanaian market to make undue profits.

The youth said a petition to the Trade Minister to intervene in the issue had received no response; hence their decision to demonstrate. They promised it will continue till something is done.

The petition, which is intended for the president, questioned why government is allowing the infiltration of foreign products into the country when even developed countries safeguard their local industries.

They cited countries like Nigeria, Cameroon, Angola and South Africa which have either banned the importation of cement to protect local producers or imposed higher tariffs and anti – dumping duties to deter importer.

From Fred Duodu, Aflao ([email protected])

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