Business News of Saturday, 26 May 2018
Salt manufacturing company, Pambros, has served a strong notice that it may be forced to lay off about half of its workers should activities of encroachers on its properties go unresolved.
The company is thus seeking an intervention from the government to help them deal with issues.
The concerns follow a working visit by the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng to the site as part of celebrations to mark the International Day for Biological Diversity.
While touring the site, Managing Director of Pambros Salt Industries Limited, Michael Odartey-Wellington narrated how heavily, the company’s profit has dwindled due to the activities of the encroachers.
According to him, “The encroachers have built into the area and because of that, there is no free flow of water. So when it rains, their place gets flooded and what they do is to try to cut into our embankment and that in a way affects our production”.
He further explained how the wetlands have undergone rapid destruction from the encroachers who are filling the wetlands for the construction of buildings.
Their actions, he adds, have resulted in the wetlands inability to hold up overflows from the Lafa stream which eventually floods the company.
“Because of the encroachment, our production is now greatly affected. We are not able to produce as much as we used to do in some years back”, he said.
Mr. Odartey-Wellington further revealed that production has seen a great decline from sixty thousand metric tonnes annually, to about twenty-five thousand metric tonnes.
He feared this may compel them to lay off workers as their production cost keeps soaring high although profit keeps dwindling.
“In a few years back we were able to produce 60,000 metric tonnes of salt, today, we are down to 25,000 metric tonnes. We engage about 700- 1,000 workers directly. Now if this continues we will have no other option than to lay off our workers. We will be down to maybe about 200” he warned.
According to him, a 25kg bag filled with salt which hitherto sold for 10ghc is now going for half the price.
He attributed this development to the importation of salt which has heightened competition.
“Five years ago, we were selling a 25kg bag of salt for GHc10 today we are selling it at GHc5”.
The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng however assured that a committee will be set up to find ways to rid the encroachers off the land to boost production again.
“From our point of view, we are going to set up a committee and engage Nii Sempe to help us and assist us in preserving this very important site” he stated.