Monday, July 22, 2024

Jah Oil Company Refutes Allegations of Capacity Issues

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By: Mama A. Touray

Following the June 11th press conference held by the Cement Importers Association, which claimed that Jah Oil’s cement store ran out of cement and that there is no cement in the country, Jah Oil embarked on a tour with the media on June 21st. The tour aimed to refute the allegations made by the Cement Importers Association by visiting a few of its cement stores and the main factory.

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The Cement Importers Association alleged that Jah Oil’s trucks were heading to Senegal to pick up cement from factories that the association members are not permitted to access.

Managing Director of Jah Oil, Momodou Hydara, refuted these claims, stating that Jah Oil has no capacity issues and that vehicles are no longer queuing to be loaded; instead, they are waiting for customers.

Hydara first took the media to the Gambia Ports Authority, where two eco-hopper vessels with a capacity of 50,000 metric tons had landed, carrying 35,000 metric tons due to the nature of the sea.

He claimed that Jah Oil is the first company to introduce the 50,000-metric-ton eco-hoppers in the country. Their reason for investing in such large vessels is to bring mega vessels to the country, compared to the 10,000 to 15,000 metric tons they used to handle. This, he said, shows how much they have invested in the cement industry.

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“What the other people are saying about capacity issues, we don’t have it. The Gambian market is a small market considering our installed capacity at the factory. There is enough cement; all the stores are fully stocked, and there are no queues of vehicles,” he refuted.

He continued, “We used to have four belts, but we currently shut two while two are working due to the full stock we have, and we are waiting for customers to come and buy from us. We will supply as needed because we are not having enough customers and sometimes turn off our engines to wait for customers.” He claimed that in the morning, about forty trucks are usually loaded and waiting for customers and that Jah Oil has an installed capacity that can supply the whole country.

Momodou further claimed sabotage within the business, stating that their factory wholesale price of cement is D355, but shops buy it at this price and sell it at D450, which he described as “insane.”

Justifying his claim of sabotage in the business, he said, “It is sabotage, and they are trying to prove a point that if they are out of the market, the price of cement will go up. They are proving that point by inflating the price, but the public should always ask how much they are buying a bag of cement for and from where they are buying it.”

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Meanwhile, Hydara informed the media that every cement store seen at a Jah Oil petrol station is a privately owned business run by the station manager to settle staff salaries and other bills.

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