Liberia: CEMENCO in Ganta — A Step in the Right Direction

The thriving City of Ganta, the commercial capital of Nimba County, has scored one more plus in its strive to remain the leading commercial capital in rural Liberia.

Our Nimba Correspondent, Ishmael Menkor, reported in yesterday’s edition of the Daily Observer newspaper that the Liberian Cement Company, CEMENCO, opened an office in Ganta.  The aim is to enhance easy transactions with distributors. 

CEMENCO’s sales area manager, Robert O. Marshall, disclosed that CEMENCO decided to open the Ganta office as a means of easing the difficulty experienced by distributors in accessing the main office in Monrovia.  From henceforth, customers will not need to travel all the way from Ganta to Monrovia, a distance of 245 miles, to purchase cement to continue the building boom taking place in Ganta and other parts of Nimba County. 

The county was chosen, Marshall explained, because it is one of the highest purchasers of cement in Liberia and creates an opportunity for the office to serve Bong County, Nimba’s closest neighbor, and Lofa County in Western Liberia.  The company will expand to other counties in the future, as the need arises.  But for now, the Ganta  office will serve the other closer counties,  such as Grand Gedeh and River Gee. 

Any transaction that can be done in the head office in Monrovia, Mr. Marshall explained, will also be possible at the Ganta office, relieving customers of the stress they face in making their purchases from the capital city, Monrovia.

The establishment of a CEMENCO branch in Ganta is a major development in the commercial and industrial growth of this most important business center in Nimba County. 

Already, Ganta hosts branches of some of the nation’s leading businesses.  These include four of Liberia’s leading banks—the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), ECOBANK, GN Bank and the United Bank of Africa (UBA). 

Several years ago, the Ganta City Council issued an order that all buildings situated along the main street of the city be upgraded. See how that visionary order transformed the outlook of Ganta! 

Now Sanniquellie, the county’s capital, has adopted a similar measure that will, among other things, spur economic growth in these remote but all-important areas of our country.

The City of Ganta is also host to CICO, a major road construction company;  RUHUL, a leading building materials company; Lucky Pharmacy, one of Liberia’s leading pharmaceutical chains; Jungle Energy Power, an electricity supplying chain owned by one of Liberia’s leading local  entrepreneurs, Floyd Tomah; Sethi Brothers,  a leading building materials supplier; CSE, a road construction company building the road from Sanniquellie to  Loguatuo, also a Liberian town hosting Liberia’s Customs office on the border with the Ivory Coast.

Several years ago Floyd Tomah was chosen as the Daily Observer’s Person of the Year.  He is one of Nimba County and Liberia’s eminent citizens and leading businessmen. 

CEMENCO should also be commended for its product segmentation, aimed at serving different types of cement for their respective use cases. 

The company’s technical director, Manoj Jha, explained that Cemenco is producing three types of cement.   These are 52.5, 42.5 and 32.5.  The 52.5 bag of cement is good for major infrastructure, such as bridges and dams,  while the 42.5 bag is used for constructing  storied buildings and  casting of beams and  pillars. 

The 32.5 bag is environmentally friendly and has less carbon dioxide, but it is effective and is used for smaller construction projects.

“Most of the houses we are building don’t require 52.5 or 42.5.  Instead, you can use 32.5 to save money for other things,” said Manoj Jha. 

This is the kind of product segmentation that enables efficiency and cost effectiveness in construction projects, allowing project owners to be more strategic about allocation of resources. It is our hope that CEMENCO will give project owners not just a low-carbon product, but an affordable pricing to encourage rural development, especially where private sector players are involved.