Prof. Lade Wosornu
ALUWORKS LIMITED has indicated that although it has very high quality aluminium products and expects an influx of orders for its products going forward, it is saddled with a major problem of securing the financing to enable it meet the expected increase in demand arising from its importing customers, converting into local purchasing customers.
Prof. Lade Wosornu, chairman of the company, who disclosed this in the company’s annual report & financial statements for the 2019 financial year, stated, “This is a task we have embraced and are working on assiduously.”
He said the company had been assured by both the Ministry of Trade and Industries and governments’ economic management team that “Aluworks Ltd will not be allowed to fold up. This is due to the strategic importance of Aluworks Ltd to the extended Bauxite-Aluminium Scheme headed by the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Commission (GIADEC). We thank the authorities for this assurance. It provided additional impetus for the board, management and staff to strive and keep the company going.”
He mentioned one of the company’s success stories as the recent victory won at the Ghana International Trade Commission (GITC).
“Shareholders will recall that we have updated them on the work of the GITC concerning the petition which we put before them in 2019. We can now share the report on their findings along with their recommendations as read out publicly at a ceremony on October 15, 2020. The commission found that, indeed, there has been dumping of aluminium products by China into our local market, utilizing an unfair export rebate. The commission ruled that an additional duty of 35.77% be imposed on such goods into the future. The commissions’ report is a directive to the Ghana Revenue Authority to implement their findings in line with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. This is a significant ruling. It is geared towards limiting the inflow of cheap competitive material from China on the basis of unfair export rebates that China had been giving to its traders to enable them to sell cheaply here. This will level the playing field in terms of price and allow quality to prevail.”
MOTI Distressed Companies Scheme
Prof. Wosornu said as far back as 2016, Aluworks made an application to the MOTI, “but it had remained to be worked on. The EMT had directed MOTI to resurrect our application and proceed to satisfy our request. We hope for an impactful outcome by the end of 2020.”
He said government introduced a 50% import duty rebate on imported goods which proved to be inimical to local manufacturers of such imported goods. “Several approaches were made to government to re-structure the duty rebate system for equity and fairness. The EMT advised that this was being amended. However, as at the time of this report, the systems at the ports of entry remained unchanged. Hence, imported goods are cheaper than goods manufactured on shore. This is seriously detrimental to the local manufacturing industry.
He mentioned that VALCO continues to deduct 10% off payments for metal, adding that “this is due to the unpaid balance of their old business account with Aluworks awaiting clearance by SSNIT when the payment for the land sold to SSNIT by Aluworks was done. Meantime, it impairs both our ability to meet our customers’ requirements and our cash flow.”
BY Samuel Boadi