Ghacem, the country’s biggest producer of cement, has mounted a feverish search for more local limestone of sufficient quality and quantity to invest in clinker production.

Nana Prah Agyensaim VI, the chairman of the Ghacem Cement Foundation and board member of Ghacem who disclosed this in Kumasi, explained that the move would help the company to cut down on the importation of expensive raw materials and also, create wealth for local industries.

“Today, local limestone from our quarry in the Eastern region constitutes about 25% of the content of every bag of Ghacem Super Rapid cement and for a developing nation like Ghana, it is imperative to create wealth by adding value to local resources through the development of local industries,” he said, adding it would also create employment avenues, improve technological skills and increase the tax base of the country.

Nana Prah Agyensaim VI, made the announcement in his keynote address at a programme to donate bags of cement to some communities from northern Ghana, namely the Upper East, Upper West, Northern, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions. The southern sector, which includes the Volta, Eastern, Western, Central and Greater Accra regions, had earlier been awarded cement at a similar programme held at Takoradi on June 17.

The programme, which aims to support communal self-help projects, forms part of Ghacem’s corporate social responsibility to assist deprived communities in improving their health and educational infrastructure and, where necessary, build new ones.

The cement donation scheme has been in operation for the past eight years. Nana Prah Agyensaim VI said Ghacem remained committed to contributing substantially to the economic development of the country, disclosing: “Ghacem’s financial contributions to the government of Ghana as at the end of 2010 in terms of direct and indirect taxes is about US$53 million (equivalent to GH¢77 million).”

He called on the beneficiary communities and institutions to put the cement to its intended use, insisting the foundation would not hesitate to take drastic action against any party found to abuse this noble gesture. “Such culprits will forever be blacklisted from this gesture from Ghacem if found culpable of abuse,” he warned.