The three errant cement manufacturers in the Ashanti Region that were sanctioned by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) for producing cement with inferior raw materials have been ordered to recall all of their products from the market.
The Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Professor Alex Dodoo, who issued the directive last Monday, said all the batches of cement produced by Xin An Safe Cement Ghana Ltd, Kumasi Cement Ghana Ltd and Unicem Cement Ghana Ltd prior to the ban, must be recalled from the market at a cost to the companies to demonstrate their commitment to conformity with the country’s standard.
“All foreign companies are welcomed in Ghana but the people will not be taken for granted and the laws of the country would not be abused with impunity,” he said.
Prof. Dodoo was speaking to cement manufacturers in an emergency meeting held at the instance of the GSA.
Present at the meeting were representatives of the three errant companies and other members of the Chamber of Cement Manufacturers Association, including Ghacem Limited, CIMAF Ghana Limited, Diamond Cement Group, Dangote Cement Ghana Limited and CBI Ghana Limited.
Prof. Dodoo said while the three manufacturers had committed to adhering to the country’s standards, and signed an undertaking to that effect, recalling all the products produced with inferior raw materials was the first step to prove their commitment.
He said the companies would remain closed until it was established that they had put in place systems to guarantee that they met the standards for cement manufacturing in the country.
Prof. Dodoo added that inspectors from the GSA would be stationed at the factories to assess their operations and ensure that they were operating according to required standards.
“For now, you will remain closed until you we are satisfied that you are doing the right thing, so we will have our inspectors stationed at your factories at your own cost to monitor all your activities to ensure that you are doing the right thing,” he said, pointing to the representatives of the errant manufacturers who were present at the meeting.
Prof. Dodoo cautioned other cement manufacturers present at the meeting to strictly adhere to the country’s standards for the manufacturing of cement to avoid punitive actions.
He said the GSA would not hesitate to enforce the laws strictly if any manufacturer took the directive for granted and operated outside the standards.
“Revoking licence is something we would do if any manufacturer deliberately goes against the standards because we have to protect lives and properties, and we all know the dangers in using inferior cement for construction.
“So don’t push us to do that because we don’t want Industry to have plenty administrative burdens,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Cement Manufacturers, Ghana (COCMAG), George Dawson-Ahmoah, said the chamber was in support of the government’s enforcement drive to sanitise the cement manufacturing space.
He said after 27 years working in the cement manufacturing space, he was of the view that the current sanitisation in the industry would only inure to the benefit of consumers and the economy.
“We are assuring the Ghana Standards Authority of all the support needed to achieve this objective so as to protect the buildings and the integrity of Ghana’s infrastructure,” Dr Dawson-Ahmoah said.
He also pleaded with players in the space to remain lawful to help grow the industry.