GHANA – Ghana’s trade associations, namely the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and the Traders Advocacy Group Ghana (TAGG), have pledged their support for the Ghana Standards Authority’s (GSA) intensified enforcement campaign against substandard goods.
Recognizing the importance of restoring integrity to the market and deterring unscrupulous importers and traders, the associations commend the GSA’s proactive measures aimed at combating substandard products.
Joseph Obeng, President of GUTA, and Nana Opoku, General Secretary of TAGG, emphasize that their members have been educated on the significance of adhering to quality standards and undergoing conformity assessments.
They express satisfaction with the GSA’s engagements and sensitization efforts, which have prompted traders to prioritize quality and contribute to the restoration of trust in Ghana’s trading space.
Obeng, formerly involved in defending cable importers, now stresses the importance of stringent quality control measures to protect the economy.
He urges the GSA to expand its enforcement activities beyond the current scope and closely monitor importers who continue to smuggle substandard products into the country, particularly through the eastern corridor and unapproved routes.
He also emphasizes that enforcing strict standards is crucial for ensuring quality and safeguarding the economy.
While acknowledging the value of public education on standards and consumer responsibilities, Nana Opoku believes it is time to go beyond lectures and strictly enforce standards laws.
He urges the GSA to enforce standards without interference from politicians or high-level government appointees.
“The only thing that will ensure quality is standards and the only way to ensure standards is through tough enforcement of the standards,” Mr Obeng said.
Opoku assures the GSA of the associations’ support in upholding unbiased enforcement and discouraging external interference.
“You have the power to enforce the laws without fear or favour and we will be watching you to ensure that you do your work. But you can be assured that we will support you and would not allow others to interfere in your work once you enforce the laws without discrimination,” he said.
Energized standards enforcement
The GSA, in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service, has undertaken spirited enforcement activities, including raids on illegal chemical producers and confiscation of substandard products slated for destruction.
These operations mark a significant step in upholding quality standards and protecting consumers.
Professor Alex Dodoo, Director General of the GSA, emphasizes that standards are meaningless if not enforced.
He highlights the significance of enforcing standards in Ghana as a model for other African countries, particularly in facilitating smooth trade within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Professor Dodoo emphasizes the need for effective collaboration between the GSA and the public to educate and enforce standards, particularly in the construction sector.
With the support of trader associations and a commitment to rigorous enforcement, the Ghana Standards Authority aims to eradicate substandard products from the market.
By upholding quality standards, Ghana strives to set an example for other African nations and ensure smooth trading under the AfCFTA.