Koforidua, April 1, GNA - Retailers and workers in the construction industry in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional capital, have raised concerns over the rising cost of building materials.
A market survey conducted by the Ghana News Agency showed that a bag of GHACEM cement, which was previously sold for 35 Ghana cedis in the open market, is now being sold for 45 Ghana cedis.
Similarly, the price of a bag of Dangote Cement has also climbed from 38 Ghana cedis to 46 Ghana cedis.
Meanwhile, a bag of Sol Cement, which was being sold at 31 Ghana cedis per bag, shot up to 44 Ghana cedis with Cimaf Cement moving from 37 Ghana cedis per bag to 45 Ghana cedis.
A mason, Kwame Koi, who expressed his frustration to the GNA during an interview, explained that estimates he made for a client using the old prices had to be reviewed as the customer needed to pay more, adding, "the increment is too much."
Mr Micheal Bobo, a cement seller, attributed the retail price hikes of cement to significant increases in the factory prices in recent times.
He said for retailers to stay in business and, at least, break even, there was the need to increase prices.
He said cement suppliers informed retailers that the cost of raw materials for production had gone up, triggering factory price hikes.
He said business had slowed down, adding prices were increased twice this year, adding the situation was worrying as it negatively affected retail business.
The GNA market survey also revealed that prices of nails, paints, and others have equally increased.
For example, a large bucket of paint that used to sell at 70 Ghana cedis is being sold at 75 Ghana cedis while the small bucket, which sells for 30 Ghana cedis increased to 35 Ghana cedis.
Mr Amos Ofori, who deals in building materials, said at least, the increment should have been announced to alert the public because customers were refusing to buy following the price hikes.
He noted that the price hikes had added to the woes of businesses as sales had already slowed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He appealed to the Government to intervene to ease the burden on consumers.