The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) on Monday engaged cement manufacturers to discuss and address the recent issues regarding the influx of sub-standard cement products on the Ghanaian markets.
The meeting followed the recent closure of three cement factories in Kumasi which were found to be using sub-standard materials in their production.
The meeting was also attended by Prof. Felix Charles Mills-Robertson, the Board Chairman of the GSA, Mr. Mark Taylor, a Board member, as well as other senior management members of the Authority.
Addressing the meeting, Professor Alex Dodoo, the Director-General of the GSA, stated the government’s and GSA’s displeasure about the influx of substandard cement on the markets and its consequences on consumers.
“Cement is a very important material in the building and construction industry which in turn leads to the development of a nation therefore the safety of consumers needed to be prioritised in the manufacturing process.
Ghana needs investment but it wont be at the expense of the safety of the consumers.”
“Please let’s take the standards in the building and construction sector very seriously, especially that of cement to prevent disasters in the wake of recent building collapses and earth tremors in the country,” he added.
He admonished the three cement factories (Xin An Safe Cement Ghana Ltd, Kumasi Cement Ghana Ltd, and Uniceme Cement Ghana Ltd), which were instructed to cease production after tests revealed some materials used for the manufacturing of their cement were sub-standard but defied the orders.
Prof. Dodoo revealed that the Authority would be tracking and tracing cements distributed to try and retrieve the sub-standard ones sold and buildings erected with those cements tested to check their integrity.
Prof. Doodoo explained that the meeting to address these issues were not targeted against just the companies instructed to close, which were mainly Chinese owned companies, but a national problem, hence the invitation of all stakeholders.
In response to the issues raised by the GSA Director-General, the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Cement Manufacturers, Ghana (COCMAG), Rev. Dr. George Dawson-Ahmoah, agreed with the seriousness of the issue and pledged to ensure that cement manufacturers produced quality goods to foster their relationship with GSA and boost their business.
There was a consensus at the end of the meeting that the GSA will collaborate with the cement companies for regular tests of their products to ensure that they meet the right standards.