Mukesh Thakwani (left)
Steel and iron manufacturing giant, B5 Plus Ghana Limited, has debunked media report that it has increased the prices of its products amid the coronavirus.
A report by news portal, ModernGhana had indicated that B5 Plus and some six other steel companies have increased their prices despite enjoying 50% reduction in electricity bill.
The report implied some level of insensitivity on the part of B5 Plus with the price increment at a time the country is facing challenges due to coronavirus.
But Chairman of B5 Plus Limited, Mukesh Thakwani, in a brief interaction with the media on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, dismissed the report, saying never has B5 Plus Limited and any other steel company increased their prices in such trying times.
Mr. Thakwani says the company was more focused on supporting the country overcome the coronavirus pandemic and not money-conscious.
Contrary to claims that the company was enjoying 50% reduction in electricity, he says B5 Plus has not even received its electricity bill for the month to know how much it is going to pay or how much the reduction is.
According to him, B5 Plus has rather been facing water and electricity challenges for the past six months.
In spite of the challenges, he says B5 Plus has been highly responsive to the plight of everyone during the pandemic and shall remain committed in helping the less privileged and the State until the pandemic was over.
In that regard, he welcomed all Government and private hospitals to visit B5 Plus Limited at Kpone with their oxygen cylinders for free oxygen.
He says B5 Plus has been distributing free oxygen since the beginning of the crisis and shall continue to do so, with the view of helping to save lives.
Mr. Thakwani bemoaned how challenging it has been for the company to maintain its operations during the pandemic.
He says the company’s costs of production have gone up significantly, but still maintaining its operations to ensure that people get jobs to do to be able to cater for their families in these trying times.
According to him, the company has been providing free meals and Personal Protective Equipment to its employees since the outbreak of the virus.
He says the company has also been providing meals for families of its employees.
In addition, he stated that B5 Plus in spite of the challenges it is facing, has donated about 1,000 free meals to residents within the communities in which it operates.
Also, he disclosed that the company has been donating PPEs to residents and has contributed a whooping Ghc 300,000 to the National Covid-19 Trust Fund established by President Nana Akufo-Addo.
He seized the opportunity to praise the Ghanaian Government for the excellent manner in which it has managed the coronavirus situation in Ghana.
Mr. Thakwani called for cooperation and collaboration from across board in the management of coronavirus in the country, saying emphatically that the only way everyone will truly win the covid-19 is when Ghana as a country wins the pandemic.
During these trying times, he says it was not in the interest of the company to focus on making profit when indeed many people are suffering.
He stated that the company’s primary concern is humanity’s survival and not money-making agenda.
That, he said, was evidenced by the fact that despite the electricity and water crisis facing the company coupled with unexpected expenditures occasioned by coronavirus, the company has continued to maintain its prices, give back to society across board and still keep its employees and paying them their salaries.
Appeal To Media
He has therefore appealed to the media to always cross-check for facts and speak to both sides to an issue before publishing their stories.
He stated that some degree of checks and balancing would have prevented ModernGhana from going ahead with such a misleading reportage.
He was of the view that in such trying times, the media should be of support to companies that are helping the State and the less privileged and not rather to worsened the plight of companies by creating disaffection for them (firms) through wrong or false reportages.
By Melvin Tarlue