The Ministry of Health has insisted that it is absolutely necessary for cement raw materials at the Country’s ports of entry be fumigated.
They further justified the charging of fumigation fee on cement raw materials.
This comes after the Chamber of Cement Manufacturers (COCMAG) in a press statement published on Adomonline.com bemoaned the charging of fumigation fees at the Port.
According to COCMAG, the activity was not necessary for cement raw materials as they were dry cargoes and often do not exit through the Port gate.
However, the Health Ministry in a statement signed by the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu thought otherwise.
According to the Ministry, the disinfection exercise had been sanctioned by the World Health Organisation in its International Health Regulations (2005) made into international law at the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2007.
The Ministry further revealed that the IHR has since been incorporated into Ghana’s Public Health Act 581 and the Government of Ghana was simply upholding its commitment to both international and local laws.
“This procedure is implemented in the Biosecurity Zone that has been established around the Points of Entry (Border Crossings). Therefore, any vehicle that comes in or out of the Biosecurity Zone is disinfected without exceptions. If we allow exceptions, the project’s integrity will be compromised,” the Health Ministry said in the statement.
It further stated that the Disinfection Health Service Fee is not a levy but a fee paid for the service of disinfection.
According to the Health Ministry, the fee is but a small token to protecting the Ghanaians and the economy from another viral outbreak.
“Let us not forget the economic devastation that both Ebola and now Covid-19 has caused the economy. The Disinfection Health Service is trying to prevent the pathogens that attack not only Ghanaians but our economy as well. Disinfection Health Service is also there to protect the very economy that the Chamber of Cement manufacturers need in order to sell their products.”
It added that, the fee is not secluded to the cement industry per se, that all other industries that use the port have to pay the fee; “and the fee itself is not at rates that can make or break the trade.”
The Ministry of Health therefore called for the full support and co-operation of the COCMAG in the implementation of its duties.