Cement scarcity in Monrovia

Cement scarcity in Monrovia
Published: 23 June 2004

The local Leocem Cement manufacturing Company has warned that distributors who hoard or profiteer in the sale of cement will lose their contracts.  Speaking to Journalists at the company’s office at Cline Town, East of Freetown on Friday, the general manager Arne B. Johansen said despite the set backs they faced due to instability over the past years, they have been able to recuperate and effectively serve the nation. He added that they also faced constraints currently but yet still they have been able to produce enough cement for consumers. If we were spending 10,000 dollars a day, we now spend 40,000 dollars a day. "This current minor shortage (of cement in the country) has been spurred by a little bit of hoarding", he declared.

Johansen warned, "Those who hoard cement risk incurring losses. We will be intensifying efforts to ensure that distributors are doing their job". He revealed that they plan to upset hoarders plans by flooding the market with adequate cement supplies soon. He added that there are over 40 cement distributors in the country. He said initially they produced 11,000 bags daily but now produce 22,000. He urges the public to call 030232232 if they discover that anyone is hiking the price up to Le25, 000. He added that they discovered that most people who hike the price of cement were retailers who had no contract with them and they therefore found it difficult to take action against them.

He took journalist on a conducted tour and revealed that the old machine they had ground 600 bags per day but the new one grinds 2400, adding that there were plans to acquire a new power plant with a capacity of 4 megawatts to supply them electricity so as to ensure that work goes on through out the day. He appealed to the general public to help in tracking down hoarders and expressed the hope that the government would enforce profiteering laws. "Even though it is a liberal economy, there should be no price control, I believe there laws against profiteering", he said.