Controversy arose among steel manufacturers in Ghana and wholesalers and retailers over increases in the prices of steel products, even after the former is enjoying a 50% subsidy in electricity, thanks to the Coronavirus (Covid-19), but B5 Plus, a steel manufacturer, has refuted the claim it has increased its prices.
According to the company, though the novel Coronavirus has brought huge difficulties on their business, it has maintained its prices.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of B5 Plus, Mr Mukesh Thakwani, reacting to the report, indicated that his company could not have increased prices when demand had stalled as a result of the lockdown.
He explained that construction was not a priority for people in the era of the lockdown, as people would rather need food and medications before construction which may not even be on their list of preferences.
“So, nobody is happy. But, at the end of the day, let us be fair enough. When the country is in lockdown, how can you increase prices when there is no demand? So, the demand is also gone down,” he stressed in an interview with The Chronicle.
He continued: “Who is working in the lockdown period? So, the first priority for the people is basically related to food, medicals and other things, then comes construction.
“Our cost of production has already gone up because of no provision of water and low provision of enough electricity. You are to keep thousands of workers; so everything is costing to the organisation. So, this is very difficult time for us (B5 Plus). Look at the currency also, it has also depreciated. Some of the consumables are coming from outside, but still we are maintaining the price. We have not increased yet,” Mr Thakwani told The Chronicle yesterday.
He charged corporate bodies to do the little they could to support society in these trying times, when people may not be able to afford basic Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
On their part, the CEO said the company has provided food packages to over one thousand families in the area where the company is located at Kpone for one month to ensure they had food in their homes.
Again, the company had rolled out a project to distribute oxygen free to hospitals, which was scheduled to end on April 30, but “now we have extended to the 31st of May. So, any government hospital which wants any amount of oxygen, it is free of cost. Just bring your cylinder [and] it will be filled.
He commended President Akufo-Addo for the measures put in place to tackle the pandemic, and urged the public to support the government’s fight against the virus.
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