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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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CEMENT IMPORTERS APPEAL TO BARROW OVER NEW TAX

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By Amadou Jadama

In their latest communication on the protracted standoff over the new tax on cement imported across the border from Senegal, the Cement Importers Association on Wednesday made a direct appeal to President Adama Barrow to consider them and open doors for their businesses.

The association made this appeal at a press conference held at Kerr Ayib, a border village near Farafenni.

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It also followed government’s reported increment of duty on cement imported via land from D30 per bag to D180.

The importers said the sudden and huge increment is unbearable and is aimed at killing their businesses to ‘protect other operators in the cement industry.’

Alhagie Mbye, treasurer of the association, said: “We are gathered here today to talk about the tax which is a major challenge to our business. We are appealing that government open our business and not support or protect one business above others.  The country belongs to all of us. We have suffered a lot and invested a lot.  Imagine a single truck load can cost over D1.8M. Now, if somebody invested in importing 30 trucks, how much would that amount to? Some of us even took bank loans to invest in this business.”

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“We want President Adama Barrow to seriously give a thought to this matter and consider our conditions,” he said.

He urged the minister of trade to do more consultations and consider the fact that even Jah Oil and Salam started their cement businesses from Senegal. “So, we are not the first person to buy cement from Senegal,” he argued.

Alhagie Touray, a cement seller in Farafenni, said the matter at hand is not about politics but purely an economic matter.

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