Iron rods and steel manufacturing companies in Ghana say they have not, and will not increase prices of their products despite the current unfavorable business environment in Ghana occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The seven companies, B5 plus, Ferro Fabriks, United Steel, Tema Steel, Sentuo Steel, Fabrimental and Rider Steel Company Limited have been accused of insensitivity following reports of increased prices of their products at a time government announced reduction in electricity prices and provision of water for free for three months.
But chairman of B5 steel Mukesh Thakwani, reputed to be the biggest iron and steel trader in west Africa, said despite the economic challenges facing the world due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the steel companies are supporting government to make life better for Ghanaians has no intention of increasing prices of their products.
“It is not true that we have increased our prices. Indeed since the outbreak of the virus and government subsequent measures to combat the virus, we have rather kept all out workers. We pay them on time and all their allowance and feed them three times a day”
“B5 contributed GH300,000 to the Covid 19 trust fund and also has made our oxygen plant available for all hospital to refill for free. Furthermore we have prioritized health and safety and therefore we provided personal protective equipments to ensure our workforce are protected from the virus, he stressed” he said.
Founded in 2002, the company currently offers direct and indirect jobs to over ten thousand Ghanaians.
Mr. Thakwani said all steel manufacturing companies operating in Ghana face challenges and added that government must address them.
“In our line of business two key ingredients are required, that is water and electricity, and it will interest you to know that we have not had water for 6 months now”
“We now have to rely to tankers daily to keep the plant and production running. Also we are yet to witness a reflection of the government’s 50 percent reduction in electricity prices. Dspite all these key challenges, we have not sacked anyone and we are contributing to the economy of the country,” he added.