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High cement prices are characteristic of deeper economic problems – GFL

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Secretary General of the Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL), Abraham Koomson has emphasized that the high prices of cement and other essential goods reflect deeper economic issues.

He expressed concerns over a new legislative instrument (L.I.) aimed at regulating cement prices in Ghana, warning that it could stifle industrial growth and undermine investor confidence.

In a media interaction in Tema, Koomson criticized the government for not effectively tackling the underlying structural challenges of the economy, stating that those in power appear oblivious to addressing them. Rather than relying solely on regulations, he proposed that the Ministry of Trade and Industry engage in extensive consultations with stakeholders to negotiate more affordable prices.

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Koomson urged Trade and Industry Minister Kobina Tahir Hammond and cement producers to convene and address concerns regarding the L.I. He raised these concerns following reports that Hammond had dismissed a petition from the Chamber of Cement Manufacturers to delay the law’s implementation, arguing that such legislation is crucial to prevent price-fixing cartels.

However, Koomson cautioned that the proposed stringent measures in the law, which include up to three years’ imprisonment for violating price regulations, could have adverse economic repercussions. His warnings mirror those of many in the business community, who fear that price controls could lead to unintended consequences such as shortages, black markets, and reduced investment in the industry.

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This debate over cement price regulation underscores broader economic challenges in Ghana, including high inflation, currency fluctuations, and a significant trade deficit. As the government addresses these issues, it faces the delicate task of balancing consumer protection with the imperative to support businesses and foster economic growth.

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