Cement producers in Ghana increase prices
Cement producers in Ghana have blamed the depreciation of the cedi against the dollar for recent price hikes, which have seen around a 10% increase. Dangote Cement, Ghacem Ltd and Diamond Cement have all increased the price of a 50 kg bag of cement to 28 – 29 cedis.
Last year Ghacem said that cement prices would come down if the cedi stabilised, but this has not happened.
Businesses have complained about the government’s handling of the economy. The cedi depreciated by 17.2% against the dollar from January to May 2015, a slower rate of depreciation than the 21.3% decline recorded in the same period of the previous years.
Meanwhile, Ghacem has presented the government with a cheque for 2 million cedi, which is the final dividend payment on the company’s 2014 accounts.
The government holds 400 000 shares in the company. During the presentation of the cheque, Morten Gade, Managing Director of Ghacem, noted that such dividends would only continue to be possible if all cement companies paid their fair share of taxes, import duties and dividends.
The Ghana Cement Manufacturers Association had earlier called for importers of cement to pay appropriate duties and taxes. They claimed that importers were underpaying and creating a difficult business environment.