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Govt would not support monopoly in the economy - JAK

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Accra, March 3, GNA -President John Agyekum Kufuor on Thursday said the Government had a belief in free and liberal enterprise and would not support monopoly in the economy.

He said the Government would encourage the manufacturing sector to develop but withdraw its support when they began to abuse their position of monopoly.

President Kufuor made the pledge when Mr Charles Cofie, the new Chief Executive Officer of UNILEVER, paid a courtesy call on him at the Castle, Osu.

He said UNILEVER was a flagship on the Ghanaian market and one of the outstanding business enterprises that had monopoly on the production of some goods in Ghana.

President Kufuor expressed regret that some companies had monopolised some sectors of the economy and had begun to display monopolistic tendencies in their pricing to the detriment of the Ghanaian consumer.

He cited the current high price of cement as a major component in the housing industry selling at about 60,000 cedis.

"This is unfair pricing. If the Ghanaian society is pushed to such an unbearable situation the Government will move in", he said. President Kufuor appealed to the Management of UNILEVER to exercise some leverage and take the consumer into consideration in the pricing of their products.

He said the Government was determined to support the effective and efficient development of the business sector to contribute towards the socio-economic development of West Africa through the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

President Kufuor, therefore, called on UNILEVER to endeavour to explore the possibility of exporting some of their products to markets within the Sub-Region to enhance their competitiveness within ECOWAS. Mr Cofie said the Company would invest about 100 billion cedis in the operations of the Company this year.

He said 50 billion cedis of the money would be on capital expansion and 50 billion cedis to improve on the products and appealed to consumers to reciprocate the gesture by patronising the products.

The CEO of UNILEVER said the Government's Consumer Policy to be enacted would provide investors in Ghana, the appropriate protection for their investments and would attract more investors to the country.