The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has taken steps to retain trainees assigned to the organization under the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) as it gears up to embark on a massive nationwide standards enforcement drive.
The 189 NABCO graduates will support the exercise which seeks to ensure full compliance with the country’s regulations on standards to protect consumers while promoting fair trade practices.
Absorbing the trainees will boost the staff strength of GSA to also meet the anticipated increase in demand for their services, following the implementation of borderless trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The Director-General of GSA, Prof. Alex Dodoo said the authority will leverage experiences gathered by the trainees to boost its operations while fulfilling the government’s pledge of creating jobs.
“As we begin the rigorous enforcement of the standards, we certainly will need more hands to widen our coverage. So, there is the need for beefing up our capacity and also creating jobs as President Akufo-Addo envisions,” Prof Dodoo said.
While admitting the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on its revenue streams, the clinical pharmacologist said GSA will have to find ways to cater for their remunerations.
Pandemic derailed ‘year of enforcement’
The weak standards enforcement regime in the past allowed the dumping of substandard goods and services on the local market, thereby putting consumers and properties at risk.
Plans to roll out the ‘year of enforcement’ measures in both 2020 and 2021 were disrupted following the pandemic-induced restrictions to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
“We are gradually returning to normalcy and we need to step up our efforts to protect consumers as well as importers and manufacturers of quality goods. It is the only way we can boost consumer confidence and prevent the influx of substandard goods on the local market,” the Director-General said.
GSA partners with police to enforce standards
To help enforce standards and prosecute importers of counterfeit goods, the Ghana Standards Authority has partnered with Ghana Police Service to assist with the exercise.
The collaboration was an outcome of a meeting between GSA’s Prof. Alex Dodoo and the Inspector-General of Police, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare in Accra.
The IGP urged GSA to intensify sensitization on standards and seek public support in enforcing its mandate.
On his part, Prof Dodoo said the GSA will join hands with other state regulatory agencies to ensure uniform compliance.