Jah Oil Ensures Steady Cement Supply for Gambians with over 30,000 Metric Tons Arrival

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Jah Oil Ensures Steady Cement Supply for Gambians with over 30,000 Metric Tons Arrival
Jah Oil Ensures Steady Cement Supply for Gambians with over 30,000 Metric Tons Arrival

Africa-Press – Gambia. Mr. Momodou Hydara, the General Manager of Jah Oil Company, assured journalists that his company is fully capable of meeting the nation’s cement demands without any shortages. A recent media tour of the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) showcased the arrival of over 30,000 metric tons of cement from a vessel with a 50,000-metric-ton capacity.

The tour aimed to address recent cement shortages in the country attributed to disputes between the Central Government and Cement Importers.

“As we were saying, we are here at the conclusion stage. We have visited so many places to prove something. We have gone to the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA), you have seen what is there. We have gone to our retail stores (Jah Oil Stations), and you can see they are all stocked. When you are leaving and going home also, go to these private shops, and you will see they are all fully stocked with cement. In a nutshell, there is enough cement in the country. All the shops are fully stocked, and now, as you can see where we are concluding the interview today, behind us there is no queue of vehicles

“You go to the belt, and you find maybe 3 or 4 vehicles maximum that are loading. What that shows is that we will have no choice but to shut down our operations from time to time. What that means is that we will be supplying only as needed. What that also means is that we do not have enough customers. Sometimes we have to turn off our engines to wait for customers to come forward. If you come here now, every morning you will find about 30 to 40 vehicles, all fully loaded, waiting for customers. So the queue has disappeared long since,” Mr. Hydara told the Journalists.

Mr. Hydara believed that the trucks loaded with cement and awaiting customers clearly demonstrate that Jah Oil has the capacity to supply the entire country.

“Now we are the ones waiting for the customers. And that is a very good sign, as we used to say we didn’t have a capacity issue. Jah Oil alone has an installed capacity and can supply the whole country. We said this before, and we have proven it to the public and this is the manifest proof to show the Journalists, see for themselves and relate it to the public. We have no capacity issue, and that’s the point,” he said.

Mr. Hydara claimed that while there is significant sabotage within the cement industry, there is no shortage of cement in the country.

He elaborated on their sales process, detailing how they sell cement to their customers and the price per bag.

“What we are also saying is that there is sabotage inside the cement business. Our prices in the factory have not changed. We are still selling at the wholesale price of D355 per bag. But what is happening is that if you go to some of these shops out there, they are buying it from us at D355, and they are selling it to the public at D450, which is insane. But it is sabotage because they are trying to prove a point.

“The point they want to prove is that when they were campaigning, what they first raised was that when they get out of the cement industry, the price of cement will go up. Now they are out of the cement business, they want to prove their point by inflating these prices. But the public should always ask them. How much are you buying the bag of cement for, and where are you taking it from.? Have they increased their price? Absolutely no, so why are you increasing it.? It is nothing but a mere and clear sabotage,” Mr. Hydara told the Journalists.

Mr. Hydara stated that all Jah Oil Stations, as well as any reputable cement retailer in the country, are selling cement for no more than D385.

“After all costs, you should be able to retail it at that price. But even if you don’t want to retail it at D385, you can go to D390 or even D400, which is still within the manageable gap. But why are you going for D450 per bag, making D70 profit per bag of cement? That’s insane. I believe that is very unreasonable, and I think the people doing this should drop the habit. You are not hurting Jah Oil; you are hurting the people. Your own brothers and sisters. These are the people you are hurting, not Jah Oil,” he said.

Regarding the 50,000-capacity vessel docking at the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA), Mr. Hydara stated that Jah Oil is the first company to introduce such a vessel in the Gambia.

He emphasized that this significant investment demonstrates Jah Oil’s commitment to providing Gambians with an ample supply of cement.

“When we say we invested heavily in the cement industry, people don’t understand. What we were bringing were very small vessels—10,000 to 15,000 metric tons. And this one’s called the cube system, whereby you offload it inside your tankers to take it to your Factory. They are very efficient, but they cannot carry large volumes. Since we are bringing small volumes, profitability is a problem, and price is an issue.

“So we said what we have to do is make sure that we invest heavily and make cement affordable to the Gambian people. We said we had to make further investments. That is why we invested in the two eco-hoppers (vessels) you are seeing behind us. It was the first of its kind. Jah Oil Company is the first to introduce it to the country. And to be able to bring in the mega vessels that you are seeing behind us—50,000 metric tons vessels,” Mr. Hydara asserted.

Mr. Hydara explained why the vessel, despite having a capacity of 50,000 metric tons, only carried about 30 to 35 metric tons of cement.

“Unfortunately, a vessel as big as this can carry up to 50,000 metric tons. But the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA), as we all know, has a very shallow draft. Because of the shallow draft of the water, that is, the depth of the water, we cannot fill this vessel up to capacity. We cannot fill this to capacity. We can only put there at most 30 to 35 metric tons. Then you have wasted space, which would have also gone a long way toward helping reduce the price of cement. So that’s what you are seeing behind us.

“As I promised during the first press conference, I told you guys that what we intend to do is have regular vessels like this either on a two-weekly regular basis or weekly basis. Fortunately, we are able to line up vessels so that after this vessel, we have another coming barely 3 days. When this one departs, it will also dock. After that, the other vessel might even meet the second vessel here,” Mr. Hydara asserted.

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