By Nelson Manneh
Companies dealing in the importation and sale of cement in the country, said cement is now available.
This reporter visited some Companies and shops within the Kanifing Municipal yesterday 8th day of March 2018, and met people buying cement for D260 and D250. However, there are others who are selling cement for D330. Madam Ida Jaiteh, the Sales and Strategy Manager at the GACEM Cement Company in Kanifing Industrial Estate, said they have enough cement; that other Companies ran out of stock, making the demand high on their Company, which led to scarcity.
“Here in GACEM, cement is sold for two hundred and sixty Dalasi (D260) and we have even increase on what we used to import, from two to four-fold. This is because we heard of the shortage and decided to intervene,” she said.
Jaiteh added that the only constraint they face is the discharge of the cement from the Ports; that it is very difficult to have access to one’s goods at the Ports.
At the Salma Cement Company around Denton Bridge, a bag of Cement sells for D255. Some dealers this reporter met at the gate of the Company said there is enough cement available at Salma Cement Company; that the only constraint is that delivery from the Company, takes time and this does not favour their customers. At most of the shops, the price was seen to have escalated to D339. The shops owners when questioned, said they import cement from Senegal and the CFA is costly; that this is the reason why they are selling at such a price. “We are not taking advantage of the scarcity as others may think but the reason is because the CFA is very expensive,” they said.
Visiting some of the ongoing construction areas within the Kanifing Municipality, contractors and land owners lament the massive increase in the price of cement. Some have even decided to suspend masonry work on their projects, till the price is reduced.
Speaking to one Omar Bah a Contractor, he said cement is one of the fundamental basic commodities when it comes to construction; that without cement, all construction work would be suspended. “Government should try to make sure that such commodities are always made available and affordable to the people, in their time of need,” he noted.