Gov’t must address high price of cement, other materials- GREDA

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Executive Secretary of the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association, GREDA, Samuel Amegayibor has described the rise in price of cement as worrying.

This is after the Chamber of Cement Manufacturers Ghana had indicated the price of a bag of cement is likely to hit 60 Ghana Cedis by the end of the year due to taxes and levies that affect production cost. Over the past seven months, the retail price has shot up three times hitting 27 percent increment. A bag of Cement now sells at GHC 50.00.  

Samuel Amegayibor says prices of all building materials have increased and that will be passed on to Ghanaians.

“What you can do to bring down the cost of materials is to reduce taxes. Because it is a percentage of importation cost and the importation has gone up, any tax component that is a percentage of the product and the product is not in the country and is being imported and the cost has gone up it means the government is automatically benefiting from increasing taxes”. He stressed.

Mr. Amegayibor made these comments on the Sunrise morning show on 3FM on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, The Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Cement Manufacturers Ghana, Rev. Dr. Dawson Ahmaoh said the price hikes could be attributed to internal factors including the unavailability of the raw materials for cement manufacturing and the lack of vessels to transport the materials.

Also clinker, which constitutes 80 percent of the cement component, is said to be in short supply because many outlets outside the country have shut down due to the COVID- 19 pandemic.

Currently the manufacturers pay about $1M or $500,000 as penalty anytime the vessel delays at the port.

At the last count cement manufacturing firms in Ghana was seven in all, including the latest entry, Dangote. GHACEM which used to be the sole producer and distributor of the strategic asset was believed to be a major contributor to the price hikes in the past but according to GREDA, the situation has rather worsened despite the entry of more manufacturers.  

By Richard Bright Addo|3FM|3news.com|Ghana