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Trade Minister defends cement price regulation amid industry backlash

Minister for Trade and Industry, KT Hammond, has defended his controversial Legislative Instrument (LI) seeking to regulate cement prices in the country, despite strong reservations from the Chamber of Cement Manufacturers, Ghana (COCMAG).

At a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, June 26, Trade Minister KT Hammond insisted that manufacturers were consulted during the drafting of the LI, contrary to their claims of not being engaged.

However, COCMAG has maintained that the proposal was tabled in Parliament without consulting industry stakeholders, undermining fairness and transparency. The Chamber argues that the proposal fails to address the root causes of cement price escalation, particularly the rapid depreciation of the Ghanaian cedi against the US dollar.

COCMAG CEO, Dr. George Dawson-Ahmoah, described the Minister’s move as “unilateral” and “unfair,” detrimental to the partnership and mutual respect necessary for the industry’s growth.

The Chamber has petitioned Parliament to reject the proposed LI and direct the Minister to engage with stakeholders to address the underlying causes of price escalation.

The Minister’s defense of the cement price regulation LI is seen as a move to allay fears of industry players, who have expressed concerns about the potential impact of the policy on their businesses.