Liberia: CEMENCO Refutes FPA Report


The attention of the Management of Liberia Cement Corporation (CEMENCO) is disturbingly drawn to a story carried in the March 2, 2021, edition of FrontPage Africa (FPA) News Paper under the heading: LIBERIA: CEMENCO LINKED TO FRAUDULENT PACKAGING OF CEMENT.

The story, by a Staff Reporter of FPA, asserts that investigation by the paper has uncovered “… what is being described as a deceptive business practice by a renowned cement company, CEMENCO in Liberia.”

The Management of CEMENCO categorically denies the story as baseless, untrue and published with reckless disregard for the truth and journalistic prudence.  Even though the story is purported to be the outcome of an investigation conducted by FPA, Management says that at no time was it contacted by FPA to confirm and/or get its side of the story.  Certainly, Management is left to wonder what kind of “investigation” was it that blind-eyed the other side (CEMENCO). 

Be that as it may, the following is the true story which, for whatever motivation, has been twisted:

  • Some time prior to February 16, 2021, CEMENCO realized that the consignment of the 32.2 R paper bags which it uses to package its 32.5R cement product on the Liberian market and which the company had earlier ordered was experiencing delay in shipment from Europe due to high marine traffic and container shortages. 
  • In order to avert a shortage of the 32.2R cement product on the market (especially at this peak dry-season cycle), the Company, by a letter dated February 16, 2021, sought and subsequently obtained the approval of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry to source the bags from its sister company in Sierra Leone.  The bags which are labelled “LEOCEM” will be used by CEMENCO for packaging its product for a period of three weeks (the bridging period) by which time the Company’s supply of the CEMENCO-labelled 32.5R paper bags will have arrived in Liberia. 

Management says that from the above narrative, it is clear that CEMENCO has not engaged in any “deceptive business practice” as alleged.  On the contrary, the Company, true to its long-standing and time-tested commitment to ensure a steady availability of its product to the consuming public, simply took prudent steps to avoid a shortage crisis. 

Management considers it regrettable that the FPA did not fact-check its information before going to press.  FPA is urged to own up to this journalistic faux pas and issue the appropriate correction.

The Management of CEMENCO is presently in consultation with its Layers to review its legal actions.