Following persistent cries over the shortage and hike in the price of cement on the local Liberian market, the General Manager of CEMENCO, Mr. Pamod Gemawat, has disclosed that about 200,000 bags of cement will arrive in the country by February 17.
Making the revelation Tuesday before the National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA) to brief on the status of cement on the market, Mr. Gemawat informed the NTLA that the stipulated retailed price remains at US $6.30. He told the Assembly that the current hike and shortage in the price of cement is being created by unscrupulous business individuals who purchase large quantities under the pretext of construction, but sells same at exorbitant prices.
The CEMENCO Manager disclosed that besides the expected 200,000 bags of cement, there is a huge quantity of cement that is due to arrive in the country, and that other major importers are planning to import the commodity by February 6, to help ease the shortage. Presently, the reconstruction exercise of post-war Liberia has been plagued by the continued hike in price coupled with shortage, thus compelling cement users to buy the product between US$15.00 to US$20.00 per bag.
Since his appearance was predicated upon shortage on the market, the CEMENCO General Manager told the Assembly that the shortage from his company’s production erupted when he discovered that one of the mills responsible for production had damaged and that he needed to import spare parts for major repairs. "One of our production mills has sunk more that 10 feet and it will take almost 30 to 40 days before repair works can be concluded for full scale production", Manager Gemawat told the Assembly.
The shortage has sparked off intense frustration among several Lawmakers and ordinary citizens with the former led by Assemblyman Joseph Cornomia resorting to Legal redress at the 6th Judicial Circuit Court. Meanwhile, the Lawmakers during plenary stated that they will liaise with relevant authorities to check on unscrupulous cement hikers at the various depots in the interest of the public.