The Transitional Government of Liberia has opened the cement market to all business people with the capacity to import the product for local consumption. Commerce and Industry Minister Samuel Wlue told local reporters at the weekend. The decision comes amidst the constant shortage of cement on the market, especially at a time when the demand to reconstruct the war-ravaged structures is high. According to Minister Wlue, the cement market is now opened to all for as long as necessary.
Prior to the decision, the Liberia Cement Corporation (CEMENCO) through an Act of the Legislature enjoyed a monopoly of producing and marketing cement on the Liberian market. CEMENCO has a legitimate contract with the Liberian Government when it comes to the production and marketing of cement. "This Government cannot change the laws. But in the case where CEMENCO cannot meet the current market demand, Government than takes on the option to open up the market to help alleviate the problems being faced by almost the entire country," he stressed.
The Commerce boss however cautioned those who are interested in the importation of cement to make sure that the product meets the climatic condition of Liberia, because according to him, there are certain kinds of cement that do not suit the whether conditions here. "There are very few requirements one has to meet and as far as I am concerned, there are one or two business people who are trying to meet those requirements," he said in apparent reference to those wanting to import cement on the local market.
The local market has witnessed sporadic scarcity of cement to the extent that some unscrupulous local dealers began selling the commodity far above the stipulated price of US$6.30 per 50kg bag to between US$9.00 and 10.00 respectively.