Panbros Salt Industries Limited, the oldest and largest wholly-Ghanaian owned salt company, has raised concerns over the construction of a cement factory near its concession.
According to the company, a developer has forcibly taken part of its legally acquired concession in an effort to construct a cement factory.
The company’s Managing Director, Mr. Michael Odartey-Wellington, who spoke to the press on the issue, noted that sometime in 2013, the Ngleshie Alata Stool, the allodial title holders of the Panbros concession, asked the company to release 5 acres of its 498 acres leased to the company.
He said the company obliged the request.
Mr. Odartey-Wellington alleged that the Stool subsequently sold the released land to a private person.
He further alleged that the private individual has “taken an additional 17 acres of land which is the only area available for a planned expansion of Saltworks by Panbros to develop a cement factory.”
“As a law-abiding company, we have restrained our workers from having a confrontation with the developer who has deployed land guards, as we do not want to have any bloodshed. We have therefore petitioned relevant authorities to intervene and stop the developer. Our worry is that till now the developer is still constructing without a permit,” the MD of Pambros alleged.
“The Panbros area is an environmentally protected Ramsar site. The location of a cement factory in this area will harm the ecology of this sensitive area and destroy the ability of the company to produce large quantities of edible salt.”
The MD continued: “From our checks, with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Secretariat of the 1D1F and the GIPC, it does not appear that these institutions have any knowledge of the project, so then we ask: who is behind this?”
When contacted, the Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Cement Manufacturers, Rev. Dr. George Dawson-Ahmoah denied knowledge of such a new cement company but was quick to add that looking at the case of Panbros Salt Industries, “if truly such a development is ongoing then it should be condemned outright.”
Rev. Dr. Dawson-Ahmoah who doubles as the Chairman of the Tema branch of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) commended Panbros Industries Ltd. for actively supporting the local industries in the production of liquid soap during the ongoing COVID-19 period as the salt serves as a raw material.
“We should not sit back and destroy activities of a pioneer local company that feeds the economy. I therefore beseech the relevant authorities to expedite action on stopping the construction of this cement factory,” Mr. Dawson-Ahmoah said.