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12.07.2005 Business & Finance

GHACEM warns beneficiaries of Cement Foundation


Accra, July 12, GNA - Ghana Cement Limited (GHACEM) on Tuesday said it would not hesitate to take action or blacklist beneficiary communities of its Cement Foundation who used the product for purposes other than what they have stated in their applications.

Consequently, the Company has put in place a monitoring team that would ensure that cement given to communities were used for stated reasons and not for other purposes that they later defined after receiving the cement.

Mr Morten Gade, Managing Director of GHACEM, noted that a lot of communities in the country required cement for development of their infrastructure, saying it would be most unfortunate if it was found that communities received cement and either used it for other purposes or diverted it completely.

He was speaking at the presentation of allocation letters to communities in the Greater Accra, Brong Ahafo, Upper West and Eastern Regions. The presentations are towards the renovation or completion of educational and/or health facilities.

GHACEM has since 2002 donated about 80,000 bags of cement to rehabilitate schools and health centres in deprived areas throughout the country.

Mr Gade said the Foundation had chosen education and health from a myriad of activities since they were some of the most important areas of national development.

"Education and health of a nation are most paramount in any nation's development and we are most grateful to have the opportunity to be part of this."

He noted that GHACEM believed that a healthy people, who were well educated could make a meaningful contribution to the nation's development.

Mr Gade urged communities in the three Northern regions to apply to the Foundation for support since it was free, once they met the criteria, which he described as very simple.

He explained that over the last three years, the three Northern regions had put in the least number of applications though they were the most deprived.

Ms Abena Konadu Agyeman, Communications Manager of GHACEM, said a number of previous beneficiary communities had left their allocations to cake rendering the cement unusable.

"This is a very unfortunate situation because the impression we at GHACEM get is that maybe applicants do not really need the cement, resulting in genuine needy communities being blocked completely." She said the Foundation's donations of 15,000 bags of cement to 72 applicants in 2002 went up to 30,000 bags for 200 communities in 2003 and 35,000 bags last year.

The Ghana Cement Foundation has a Board of Trustees made up of eminent Ghanaian citizens, who vet applications according to set criteria and then select communities and projects based on the merits of the applications.