The alleged engagement of Nigerian cement manufacturing company, Dangote cement, in retail business in the Ketu South municipality in the Volta region has sparked some disagreement between the company and another indigenous firm, Diamond cement.
[contextly_sidebar id=”0AbAvVR5mw2TzQjpBvMT3qJqEOKopctZ”]A youth group, mostly casual workers of Diamond Cement at a media briefing expressed displeasure at what they referred to as cheating by Dangote cement.
According to the youth, the activity by the Nigerian company is offering undue competition which in their opinion is likely to cripple the growth and expansion of Diamond cement.
The Senior Commercial Manager for Diamond Cement, Anthony Arden Boakye in an interview with Citi Business News confirmed the development is negatively affecting their operations.
“We were conquering majority of the customers in terms of distribution within the Volta region, what we know is that their(Dangote) prices are cheaper and then they are not only selling to wholesalers but retailers as well. The practice has been that we send to distributors who will retail but they (Dangote) are dealing with the retailers directly,” he stated.
Anthony Boakye further noted that efforts made to get government to address the situation have been unsuccessful.
“Diamond cement combined with the other local cement producers has petitioned the Ministry of Trade and industry and the parliamentary select committee on Trade for them to examine the cost structure of these importers.”
He further predicted of possible job losses if the situation is not addressed in earnest.
“The situation is that if nothing is done about it, definitely they are going to conquer Volta region which hitherto we were conquering and then we lose greater part of our revenues and then we will lay off workers eventually.”Anthony Arden Boakye said.
In response however, the Sales and Marketing manager for Dangote Cement, Joseph Kobina Abu dismissed the allegations and justified the wholesale price of their products.
“I think people in the Volta region should even embrace this whereby goods coming in from Nigeria are sold cheaper than goods produced in the Volta region. Why can’t Diamond also sell at lower prices? We are selling to people who want quality products at affordable prices,”
“So if you have the same product that we are selling at relatively cheaper prices, I do not understand their concerns, moreover we are employing some of the local people,” he said.
Joseph Kobina Abu further said, “We don’t want to flout the regulations by the Ghana Highway Authority on the usage of the roads as such; we do not offload all of them but take them in quantities which are permissible by law.”
“We have customers in Tema who buy and take them back to the Volta region for further retail; we do not retail anything in the Volta region.”
“If they can point out where we engage in any such activity, I will be gladly to know that,” he stated.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citifmonline.com/Ghana