Solution sought to cement price hike, Ghana

Solution sought to cement price hike, Ghana
Published: 08 August 2007

The Minister of State at the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah is to meet with officials of the Ministry of Trade and other key stakeholders to find a solution to the current high prices of cement in the country.

Currently, a bag of cement is being sold at ¢95,000.

“There is now a boom in the building industry and we cannot tolerate the continuous increment in the price of cement,” Cecilia Abena Dapaah said after cutting the tape to launch Sandpark Properties Limited housing project at Dunkonah, off the Kasoa road.

Three months ago, the out-gone Minister of Trade & Industry, Alan Kyerematen threatened to bring back the free-market policy of price control, specifically to stabilise the retail prices of cement, which had shot up by 35 per cent.

Ghacem holds what is virtually a monopoly over the cement market, and the liberty they have to hike up prices drew the anger of President Kufuor sometime ago.

An earlier threat in 2004 by then Finance Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, to flood the market with imports also came to naught.

Hon Dapaah meanwhile identified access to land, infrastructure and construction finances as the main limitations to the estate development industry.

She noted that Government was putting in place measures through the national shelter policy to address these concerns.

Her ministry, she said, recognizing the major role housing played in the development of the nation, had sourced about 50,000 acres of land throughout the country to make land readily available to developers.

Hon Dapaah pleaded with real estate developers to join Government in the provision of affordable housing units for Ghanaians and not be interested in profit-making alone, which usually caused constructors to use low quality materials.

The minister however urged estate developers to use local materials such as bricks and local cement for the construction of buildings.