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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Weija-Gbawe Assembly members kick against closure of cement factory

Andrew Oppong Amoako,  Assembly Member of New GbaweAndrew Oppong Amoako, Assembly Member of New Gbawe

Assembly members within the Weija-Gbawe Municipal Assembly (WGMA) have kicked against the closure of the Empire Cement Ghana Limited, a cement factory within the jurisdiction.

According to them, the factory which was about 85 percent complete fell under the government’s flagship, “One District, One Factory (1D1F)” policy and was envisaged to create about 13,000 direct and indirect jobs for the youth in the area when operationalized.

They have thus called on the government to investigate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which halted construction works at the cement factory, describing their treatment towards the company as unfair.

The Assembly Member of New Gbawe, Mr Andrew Oppong, speaking on behalf of his colleagues, at a press conference accused the Pambros Salt Industries Limited of “being behind” the actions of the EPA to close down the factory and asked that the government immediately intervened in the matter.

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He said the PambrosSalt Industries had from the onset been against the cement factory raising land litigation issues and later claiming that the factory could pose health risks to residents.

“Their most recent claim to the land was when they petitioned the parliamentary Select-Committee on Environment in May 2021. We wish to state as a matter of fact that Empire Cement Factory has title ownership to the said land and can be verified at the Lands Commission,” Mr Oppong claimed.

The Assemblymember said operators of the Cement Factory had assured the Assembly and all stakeholders within the municipality that, it had the needed production technology and had committed to a Gh₵60,000 bond over a three-year period to be paid to the neighboring company should it default in its operations.

“These include the use of a cyclone technology and proper construction methodology to ensure an air and water-tight production environment. The company has also gone ahead to propose the establishment of an Environmental Fund where monies would be lodged, should they breach any environmental process,” he stated.

Mr Oppong expressed the need to protect investors and not to sabotage “an investment that would help reduce the unemployment rate within the catchment area,” adding that, “the company heeded to the government’s call for industrialization” and has so far committed $350 million to the factory.

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