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Nana Ohene Ntow, a Senior Policy Advisor to Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen, has described the government’s move to regulate the pricing of cement as a knee-jerk approach.

According to him, the government is only “taking paracetamol for a headache that [possibly] requires a surgery.”

“This is a knee-jerk approach,” he told Alfred Ocansey, host of the KeyPoints on TV3 Saturday, July 06, 2024.

He says “this is the time to reset our whole economic paradigm rather than resorting to this knee-jerk approach.

The former General Secretary of the NPP says there are some fundamental problems the government needs to address to bring transformation rather than adopting this measure.

His comments come on the back of the defiance of the cement manufacturers on government’s intention to regulate the price of cement.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Kobina Tahir (KT) Hammond, submitted a Legislative Instrument (L.I.) to Parliament to legalise the price regulation.

The L.I., according to the Minority, could not be accepted because he failed to observe a convention called ‘pre laying’.

The Cement Manufacturers Association, has also kicked against the move, saying the outfit was not consulted in the process.

The Minister, has, however, refuted the claims of consultation.

He has explained that the members of the Association indicated that they didn’t want to be captured by the media as having a deliberation with the government when the ministry reached out a hand to them.

This, according to the Minister, was the reason the Ministry and the manufacturers couldn’t have any engagement on the matter.

Meanwhile, private legal practitioner, Martin Luther Kpebu, has noted that the parties “should get a mediator now that it appears the two sides cannot engage themselves.”

“There are lots of colossuses in the system that they can reach out to do some back-channel communication so that they can talk.

“I empathise with the Minister because in Ghana, we are not well organised so there are a lot of manufacturers and producers fleecing us. People make 200% and 300% profit and they say Accra is about the seventh (7th) most expensive city in Africa.”

He added that although it is true that the globally even US is battling cost of living crisis, the situation in Ghana is worse considering the rate of inflation and others.

“I’m happy that efforts are being made to regulate the price of cement [because] there is no country that the government allows businesses to set prices willy-nilly” adding that he nonetheless respects the interplay of demand and supply in an economy.

Related article:

L.I for controlling cement prices is like prescribing paracetamol for a situation that requires surgery – Ohene Ntow