Monday, June 17, 2024

‘There is enough cement in the country’: Information Minister Ceesay says

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By Mama A. Touray 

The Minister of Information, Dr Ismaila Ceesay, speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration, and Employment, said at a joint press conference with other ministries regarding project updates that there is enough cement in the country, exceeding national demand. 

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Ceesay delivered these comments during a joint press conference involving the Ministry of Lands, Regional Government and Religious Affairs, the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure, and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, focusing on project updates.

The Cement Importers Association, with over 300 truckloads of cement stuck at the border due to the GRA’s imposition of high import duties of D180 per bag, has recently levelled a series of accusations against the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration, and Employment, alleging favouritism towards other operators.

They have also mentioned that due to their trucks being unable to enter the country, the country has been experiencing a cement shortage.

“As of yesterday, 4th June 2024 the three companies that produce cement in the country GACEM, Jah Multi-Task Company and Salam revealed that Jah cement has a total of 19,000 metric tons, by mid-June they will increase this to 29,000 metric tons and by end of June they will increase it to 36,660 metric tons and in the first week of July they will increase it to 39,000 metric tons,” Ceesay told journalist.

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He continued: “For GACEM, they have 6500 metric tons, and by the 15th of June, they will further increase it to 15, 000 metric tons and Salam currently has 70,200 metric tons in stock,” Ceesay added.

Ceesay also stated that the wholesale price of cement from local factories has remained unchanged since the measure to increase it by D180 at the border was introduced.

He noted that the wholesale price for a 50kg bag of cement is D335 at Jah Multi-Industry, D388 at GACEM, and D330 at Salam.

He affirmed that the cement quality meets international standards and urged all dealers to directly contact the factories for their cement purchases.

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Ceesay also confirmed that discussions between the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration, and Employment and the Cement Importers Association regarding the cement issue have been ongoing since yesterday, with hopes that the meeting will yield positive results.

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