Cement importers threaten to sue Gov’t

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By Omar Bah

Cement Importers Association of The Gambia, comprising over a thousand people are threatening to take legal action against the Gambia Government over the 75 percent increase of tax on importation of cement, The Standard was reliably informed yesterday.
Last month the Gambia government slammed a 75 percent increase of tax on importation of cement on the pretext of protecting local companies.
The measures resulted in a hike of cement prices and scarcity, taking scores of people out of job.

“We want to make it clear to government that whether there are factories or not we are going to import cement. We are giving them up to next Friday; if they fail to lift the 75 percent increase we will take them to court. We have also decided to demonstrate everyday at the Ministry of Trade until the ban on importation of cement is lifted,” Alhagie Ceesay, the importers association’s public relation officer said in a Standard interview yesterday.

He further hinted: “We have met the Minister today and he has informed us that the cement factory owners have informed him that their vessel has landed at the ports and that very soon they will supply enough cement to the entire country. But the question we want to ask the government is what is the difference between us and these so-called factories?
“We want to inform the whole country that the cement scarcity is caused by the Gambia government. If they allow us to import cement at reasonable rate there will never be cement scarcity or high prices in this country. We are tired now. The divide and rule is enough now.”

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