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Gov’t applauds CEMENCO’s low prices

The Liberian Government has applauded Liberia Cement Corporation (CEMENCO) for moving from being stakeholder to a shareholder in Liberia by keeping cement prices no more than US$7.25.

Revealing the reduced cement prices here at a joint press conference at CEMENCO facilities on Bushrod Island Friday, 3 August, Commerce Minister Wilson Tarpeh said it is a phenomenon when the company reduces the cost of cement to the extent that it will no longer cost more than US$7.25 around the country.

“CEMENCO has taken a step that is very fundamental in this kind of business. CEMENCO has come now Mr. William [Gaignard], from being a stakeholder to a shareholder in Liberia,” Minister Tarpeh says.

Prices revealed by the company indicate that in Ganta, Nimba County, landing price at the company’s distributing partner Vivian Business Center is US$6.70, retail per 100 bags at US$6.85 and end user per 50 bags is US$7.10.

At the MB Construction at New Georgia Junction, St. Paul Bridge, James N. Davies & Sons, Vivian Business Center in Redlight, Montserrado County and Dwazon, Margibi County, the landing price for cement is set at US$6.45; retail per 100 bags at US$6.60 per bag and end user per 50 bags is US$6.85.

At MB Construction in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, the landing price is set at US$6.55, retail per 100 bags is at US$6.70 and end user per 50 bags is US$6.95.
Minister Tarpeh expresses government’s pleasure to even hear that CEMENCO intends to set up a factory in Greenville, Sinoe County to service that part of the country.

According to him, it has been a four – month project between the management of CEMENCO and the Ministry of Commerce to work on the reduction of cement prices.

Citing cement as a vital part in the construction business, Minister Tarpeh says the pro – poor government through Commerce Ministry saw it necessary to engage CEMENCO to work on reduction of prices.

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He notes that the Ministry also thought to see that the commodity is available and affordable at all times.“I am pleased to say that CEMENCO has been very forthcoming in this direction and as the president has always said we intend to build a business community and enabling environment where the private sector can strive,” Minister Tarpeh says.

He indicates that government aims to work with the private sector in making conditions favorable for the people without necessarily harming the private sector.Minister Tarpeh thanked CEMENCO on behalf of President George Manneh Weah and the government for the remarkable progress made within the last four months.

He also assures CEMENCO that government will continue to work with the company to make sure that its business is well managed and the necessary enabling environment is provided for the private sector.

CEMENCO Managing Director Mr. William Gaignard says the company has a team composed of managers and employees that is committed to serving Liberian users.

He says despite challenges, price at CEMENCO for end user remained at US$7.00 in the city, and the company decided to open outlets to produce products.He assures the company’s commitment of producing quality cement according to customers’ demand and to serve customers in a fair and transparent way.

CEMENCO Strategic and Project Manager Ms. Christine Nimely says the company has decided to open six outlets in Montserrado and Ganta, Nimba County, Buchanan, Grand Bassa County and Lofa.

She says they are CEMENCO’s pilot projects in bringing the prices down for ordinary Liberians in that they will be able to build their structures using bricks instead of mortar.

She expresses hope that Liberians in rural areas can now have better facilities to improve their living condition amidst affordable prices being announced for cement.

By Winston W. Parley

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