The Ministry of Health has justified the collection of a fumigation fee on cement raw materials at the county’s Ports of entry.
The Chamber of Cement Manufacturers (COCMAG) recently raised concerns about the fumigation fee.
COCMAG insisted that it was not necessary for cement raw materials to be fumigated and that Government should wave it off since manufacturers cannot be charged for no service done.
The association argued that clinker, limestone and other cement raw materials are dry cargos which most often do not exit through the Port gate, as such not subject to any fumigation exercise.
Reacting to the claims by COCMAG in a statement signed by the Minister of Health, Mr. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, it said the implementation of the Disinfection Health Service is based on the International Health Regulations (2005) prepared by the World Health Organization and made into international law at the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2007.
IHR has been incorporated into Public Health Act 851 as the 7th Schedule in its entirety and the Government of Ghana is simply upholding its commitment to International and Local Law to protect Ghanaians, the Ministry said.
Disinfection is defined as the procedure whereby health measures are taken to control or kill infectious agents on the exterior of a baggage, cargo, containers, conveyances, goods and postal parcels by direct exposure to chemical or physical agents.
“This procedure is implemented in the Biosecurity Zone that has been established around the Points of Entry (Border Crossings). Therefore, any vehicle that comes in or out of the Biosecurity Zone is disinfected without exceptions. If we allow exceptions, the project’s integrity will be compromised,” the Health Ministry added in the statement.
When contacted, the Executive Secretary of COCMAG, Rev. Dr. George Dawson-Ahmoah disclosed that the Chamber has had discussions with the Ministry of Health and other relevant authorities on the fumigation fee which had been back and forth for some time now and needed the appropriate redress.
“The explanation by the honourable Minister is satisfactory because as patriotic citizens and professional business entities our ultimate aim is to protect and promote the economy. We cannot fight the Government, but rather support it to achieve its objective of national development. In this same vein, we would appeal to the Government to heed to our various petitions to ensure fair trade practices in the industry. There are a lot of unfair practices which need to be addressed,” he said.