President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged players in the cement industry to prepare themselves for an expanded national and private infrastructural development.
The use of cement, he said, would continue to increase with growing urbanisation, efforts to reduce the huge housing deficit and the anticipated rise in government and private sector infrastructural development projects.
At a dinner to mark the 50th anniversary celebration of Ghana Cement (GHACEM) in Accra last Friday, President Akufo-Addo said the continued and expanded production of cement would also help create jobs and reduce the pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserves.
“As we have already indicated, the government is seeking a transition to the use of concrete for the construction of more durable roads in Ghana,” he said.
That, he said, meant more cement would be needed for national development than before, for which reason he was of the belief that the expansion in GHACEM’s facilities and production capability was in order.
“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,” President Akufo-Addo added.
He described the country’s cement industry as vibrant and proven to be what was expected of the private sector.
“There is growing competition which is leading very much to the benefit of Ghanaians,” he said, and added that the government for its part would continue to ensure that the sector had the regulatory support and the friendly business environment that it needed to thrive.
“I cannot over-emphasise how critical it is for us that this industry succeeds,” he stressed.
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 paid tribute to Mr J.A. Addison, one of the pioneers and founders of GHACEM, who he described as a remarkable man and great industrialist.
After eight months of being in power, President Akufo-Addo said the government was showing through its actions and policies and programmes 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 was putting measures in place to reduce the cost of doing business in the country and improve on the business environment.
“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 explained that all those policies were implemented to stimulate enterprise activity and growth and 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, Mr Mortein Gaden, said the company had set the pace in cement production and the various grades of its products attested to its proud achievements.
He said major landmarks such as the Akosombo Dam, the Bui Dam, the Adomi Bridge, the N1 Highway, the Flagstaff House and the Accra, Tamale and Essipong stadia were a few of the inputs that GHACEM had made.
“We have demonstrated a track record in quality work, and I would like to assure you of our continuous commitment to produce quality cement in Ghana at an affordable rate,” he added.