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Cement firms must adopt local materials, says Asenso-Boakye

Francis Asenso-Boakye, the Minister for Works and Housing has urged cement manufacturing companies to consider the use of locally available building materials such as pozzolana as a good substitute for imported clinker in their productions.

He made the call after embarking on a working visit to some cement manufacturing companies in the country.

The high price of most commercial housing units has been attributed to cost of building materials which are mainly imported.

Available literature has shown that approximately US$350 million is spent annually to import about 85% of raw materials to produce cement.

The minister says Ghana could save about US$30 million alone on imported materials by increasing the production and use of pozzolana cement to help minimise the cost of construction and ultimately improve housing affordability in the country.

The working visit, which took the sector minister to GHACEM, Diamond Cement and Dzata Cement  in Tema was meant to understand the operations and most importantly the challenges of the companies and how government can proffer the appropriate interventions.

Having identified the supply of cement as one of the major cost drivers in construction, Asenso-Boakye, in his remarks, said the success of the new programme will depend largely on the ability of manufacturing companies to adequately supply cement at an affordable rate.

As a major component in housing construction, the minister believes cement manufacturing companies can support the government’s drive towards the delivery of the national affordable housing programme by fixing a specified selling price for the supply of cement.

This, he noted, will minimise the cost of construction, and ultimately make the housing units affordable when the project is completed.

“My visit here today, therefore, seeks to reinforce government’s expressed desire to partner with major cement manufacturing companies in Ghana in the delivery of the National Affordable Housing programme.” he said.

The chief executive officers of Dzata Cement and GHACEM, Nana Phillip Archer and Stefano Gallini both pledged their respective company’s commitment to the government’s vision of providing affordable homes to the citizenry.

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