By: Daniel Nonor
Ghana’s largest cement producer, Ghana Cement Limited (Ghacem), has reiterated its commitment to help build a formidable infrastructure in communities, through its free cement application criteria throughout the country.
Since its establishment eight years ago, the Ghana Cement Foundation has donated about 270,000 bags of cement, at an equivalent market value of more than GH¢2,700,000, to beneficiaries in more than 1,600 communities across the country.
According to Nana Prah AgyenisamVI, Chairman of the Foundation’s Executive Council, the free allocations to needy communities had come to stay, and thus advised applicants to abide strictly by the laid down format, in order to qualify for the free cement allocation.
Nana Prah, was speaking in Sunyani at a function where 168 beneficiaries of this year’s allocation from the three northern regions and Brong Ahafo, were presented with letters of allocation for a total of 30,000 bags of cement.
In his keynote address, he stressed that the free cement allocation was restricted to the rehabilitation or completion of an educational or health infrastructure located in rural, poor, or very needy communities.
The Managing Director of Ghacem, Mr. Mortern Gade, called for value-addition to local resources as the vehicle for accelerated wealth creation in developing countries like Ghana.
This, according to him, was the surest way to secure employment for the citizenry, improve technological skills, and increase the tax base of the country.
He noted that Ghacem had over the last few years invested heavily, in order to partially substitute imported raw materials with local ones, and that local limestone from the company’s quarry in the Eastern Region, currently constitutes about 24 per cent of the content of every bag of Ghacem Super Rapid cement.
Ghacem, according to Mr. Gade, was still actively searching for limestone deposits of sufficient quality and quantity to invest in regional clinker production, thereby, further reducing the company’s dependence on expensive imported materials.
In his address on behalf of the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr. Philip Baazeng, described educational infrastructure as one of the key challenges facing Ghana in its pursuit for quality education delivery.
According to him, about 70 schools were still operating under trees in the Brong Ahafo Region.
He however, praised Ghacem Limited for being actively involved in assisting institutions in the education and health sectors.