Gov’t must respond to Nigeria’s unfair trade practices – Cement manufacturers

The Cement Manufacturers Association of Ghana (CMAG), has demanded that government should respond to Nigeria’s non-tariff barrier which makes it impossible for any Ghanaian company to export to Nigeria.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, the Chairman of the Cement Manufacturers Association of Ghana (CMAG), Dr. George Dawson-Amoah, said “we are calling for retaliation. If your country [Nigeria] is not prepared to receive products from Ghana, why should we?”

Dr. Dawson-Ahmoah accused Nigeria of unfair trade practices especially pertaining to the operations of Dangote Cement in Ghana.

He explained that under the ECOWAS trade liberalisation scheme which comes with attendants on fair trade, Dangote Cement could export cement to Ghana with no harm and foul, but “when a country subsidizes imports into another country, it is unfair trade.”

According to him, “apart from ECOWAS, the Nigerian government is giving a 30 percent subsidy to encourage importation into Ghana and elsewhere, and that, according to the WTO [World Trade Organisation] agreement is unfair trade. So it means it is a double competitive edge over the local industry and that is where we are hitting.”

Dr. Dawson-Amoah stressed that the Cement Manufacturers Association of Ghana was not attacking Dangote based on ECOWAS, but the unfair trade of the export subsidy.

He also noted the fact that “Nigerian prices of cement are higher than prices in Ghana which qualifies for the definition of dumping, which also has punitive action to be taken by the government,” hence his call for the retaliation from government.

Dangote’s response

But the Media Relations Manager of Dangote Cement Ghana, Etornam Komla Buami, insisted that his company’s entry onto the Ghanaian market had brought healthy competition.

“We are always happy that competition is good for the Ghanaian market, our coming onto the market has brought lots of competition which is healthy for the economy and the end user is benefiting.”

He also insisted that Dangote Cement was not under-pricing the cement it sold in Ghana.

“I can telly you on authority that we are not under-pricing; you need to understand that every other cement manufacturing company imports clinker and other additives so it is not only Dangote that is importing some bit of items for their manufacturing as well.”

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/