35,000 Metric Tons of Cement Arrived in Gambia – Jah Oil MD 

51

By Mustapha Jallow

Mr. Momodou Hydara, the Managing Director of Jah Oil Company, Friday, 21 June 2024, announced the arrival of a vessel carrying 35,000 metric tons of cement imported by Jah Oil Company Limited to ensure that there is adequate and uninterrupted supply of cement in the country. 

However, the importers alleged that Jah Oil and other cement factories were being favored by the government of the Gambia following the state’s decision to increase the tax on cement imports from D30 per bag to D180 per bag.

Notwithstanding, the Cement Importers Association continue to voice out their concerns over the capacity of Gambian factories to produce enough cement for the country’s consumption. They recently attempted to stage a protest, which the police denied. 

Talking to reporters at the Banjul Sea-Ports, Hydara explained that the country’s leading cement producer has now put up enough measures which includes landing a 35,000 metric tons vessel in Banjul every week or less. 

He said the company has bought two Eco Hoppers to be able to anchor the 50,000 metric tons vessel at the Gambia Ports. 

Hydara said the vessel has docked but only with 35,000 tons because the Banjul landing site is not deep enough to handle a 50,000 tons vessel. 

According to him, Jah Oil is the first company to introduce these Eco Hoppers in the Gambia to be able to bring mega vessels such as the 50,000 metric ton vessel that is currently offloading at the port. 

“We are also the first company that has landed such a vessel in the Gambia. That went to demonstrate how much we have invested in the cement industry,” Hydara said. 

He said the company before used to bring between 10, 000 to 15,000 metric tons of cement. Hydara said it is highly likely that their vessels will start to meet each other at the port as the company intensifies its investment. He argued that the country’s market is small compared to Jah Oil’s capacity.

Availability of Cement

Hydara still stands by his beliefs that there is enough cement in the country, unlike allegations that cement is not enough. 

“All the shops are fully stocked and vehicles are fully loaded at our factory waiting for orders. What this means is that we will not have any choice but to shut down operations from time to time,” he stated. 

“This means we will be supplying based on need basis because we are not having enough customers. If you come to the factory every morning you will find up to 40 to 50 vehicles fully loaded waiting for customers so we don’t have capacity problem at Jah Oil,” Hydara added.

 “There is sabotage in this cement business because prices in the factory have not changed. We are still selling at a wholesale price of D355 per bag, but what is happening is that you go to some of these shops who are buying it from us at D355 and then sell it at D450 which is insane,” he alleged. 

“They want to prove a point by inflating the prices but the public should always ask them how much they are buying a bag of cement from us,” he pointed out. 

Jah Oil’s MD advises the public to go to Jah Oil stations or to any reasonable cement retailer to buy their cement for not more than D385.

“But you cannot go up to D450 making D70 profit in every bag of cement. That is very unreasonable. I think those doing this should drop the habit because they are not hurting Jah Oil but the people. We are committed to ensuring that our cement reaches every corner of the country for people to have access to,” he said.