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09.03.2005 General News

“Wahala” To Hit Cement

By pfm

The "Wahala" song being sung by a cross section of Ghanaians in the wake of the increases in the prices of petroleum products may be sung again at a wake for the estate industry if attempts are not made to reign in the Norwegian GHACEM.

The consuming public has therefore called on government to act fast to stop GHACEM, from the annual price hike ritual.

To them, the ritual that is sometimes undertaken three times in a year has assumed monstrous proportions in recent times. They also question the interest of former Council of State member Nana Prah Agyensaim, who they say as the chairman of the Board of the company, should do more to alleviate the burden of the people instead of thinking it more prudent to supervise the public relations output of GHACEM by making himself the conduit through whom donations were made.

GHACEM raised ex-factory price of its standard product to 47,657.54 cedis, prompting the market to react post fuel price increases by raising GHACEM cement prices to between 60,500 and 63,000 cedis, depending on which part of the capital you are buying from, while rival Diamond Cement competes at 58,000 cedis.

President Kufuor had himself expressed concerns at outstanding businesses displaying unacceptable monopolistic practices in terms of pricing and mentioned in particular the price of cement which he put at 60,000 cedis. Consumers ranging from building contractors and real estate organisation continue to question the pricing mechanism of GHACEM that guarantees them the price hikes which, they claim, the company redeems with a façade of periodic donations of thousands of bags.

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