Cement industry must be ready for infrastructural development - Nana Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the cement industry to put its acts in order in readiness for an expanded national and private infrastructural development that would be fully dependent on cement.
The consumption of cement, according to the President, would continue to increase in leaps and bounds with growing urbanisation, the huge housing deficit, and the anticipated rise in government and private sector infrastructural development projects.
Speaking at the 50th anniversary celebration of Ghana Cement (GHACEM) in Accra on Friday, President Akufo-Addo said the continued and expanded local manufacture of cement, would help create jobs and reduce the pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserve from having to import cement.
“As we have already indicated, government is seeking a transition to the use of concrete for the construction of more durable roads in Ghana,” he emphasised.
More cement to be used
That, he said, would mean more cement would be needed for national development than before and for which matter he was of the belief that the expansion in GHACEM’s facilities and production capability were in order and agreed on by management of the company.
“I want GHACEM to be assured of Ghana’s full support over the next 50 years. Ghana will continue to partner with you, so you live up to your mantra of being the nation builder,” he added.
The President was emphatic that the country’s success, was GHACEM’s and that the situation was exclusively mutual, stressing “and I know that success is guaranteed.”
The President observed that the country’s cement industry was currently vibrant and had proven to be what was expected of the private sector.
“There is growing competition which is leading very much to the benefit of Ghanaians adding that the government on its part, would continue to ensure that the sector had the regulatory support and the friendly business environment that it needed to thrive.
President Nana Akufo-Addo said “I cannot over-emphasise, how critical it is for us, that this industry succeeds.”
Cement, the President said, formed the backbone of infrastructural development as it contributed about a quarter of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The President also paid tribute to Mr J.A. Addison, one of the pioneers and founders of GHACEM whom he described as a remarkable man and a great industrialist and leading aspirant and would-be presidential aspirant of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Progressive actions of the government
The President said after eight months of being in power, the government was showing through its actions, by the policies and programmes being implemented, that the primacy of the private sector in the development of the national economy, was fundamental to the government.
So far, he said, the government had set about putting in place, the measures needed reduce the cost of doing business in the country as well as improving the business environment in the country.
“We began to work on the fundamentals of the economy, resulting in the growing stability of the macro-economy and the currency, reduction in inflation and interest rates, and abolition of nuisance taxes with the aim of shifting the focus of the economy from an emphasis on taxation to production.
He said all those policies were implemented to stimulate enterprise activity and growth.
He also added that he was confident that very soon, the country would experience the benefits of an expanding economy and the creation of more jobs.
GHACEM’s future commitment
The Managing Director of GHACEM, Mortein Gaden said while the company was excited about its contribution to the development of the nation over a 50-year period, the focus of making positive progression into the country’s future development.
He said the company had set the pace when it came to cement production saying the various grades of the company’s products were attestations of its proud achievements.
Mr Gaden said with pride that major landmarks such as the Akosombo Dam, the Bui Dam, the Adomi Bridge, the N1 Highway, the Accra, Tamale and Essipong stadia as well as the Flagstaff House, were few of the inputs that GHACEM had made to the progress of the nation.
“We have demonstrated a track record in quality work and I would like to assure you of our continuous commitment to producing quality cement in Ghana at an affordable rate,” he added.