By: Ama Amankwah Baafi Monday, 12 October 2015 22:15
Ghana is working towards a National Quality Policy (NQP) to ensure that goods and services traded in the country are designed, manufactured and supplied to respond to the needs, expectations and requirements of consumers.
The policy regime would ensure that goods and services do not only meet the expectations of local regulatory authorities but those in overseas export markets as well.
The National Technical Coordinator of the West Africa Quality System Programme (WAQSP), Mr John Oppong-Otoo, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS that the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) has already developed a draft NQP that has been sent to the United Nations Development and Industrial Organisation (UNIDO) for review.
He said UNIDO had identified experts to review the document, after which it would be returned, circulated to all stakeholders and then a validation workshop would be held to agree on the direction that it should go for its adoption.
Need for NQP
Speaking on efforts to improve consumer health, environment protection and trade facilitation, Mr Oppong-Otoo said though there was no NQP, structures were already in place.
He said there was a standard body in place, namely the Ghana Standards Authority for developing standards, a conformity assessment body, regulation was ongoing by the Food and Drugs Authority and the National Communication Authority and National Petroleum Authority doing regulation.
“So the structures are in place but the question is are they effective and how can we make them effective if they are not. A policy gives the direction on how it should be done based on international practices. So its not that we have really lost out but a policy really put the issues in perspective in focus,” he said.
He said a NQP was necessary because it would help to clearly define rules and responsibilities so there would be no overlap in regulation.
Again, it is to ensure that other sectors of the economy which may not be covered in the regulations are brought in focus because quality cut across all endeavors.
“We should as a country have a policy which adequately caters for the quality if every product on the market,” he said.