Tue, 27 Apr 2010 General News

Gov't urged to establish corporate competition authority in Ghana


The Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, has urged government to establish a competition authority to protect consumers.

It said this is needed to create awareness on issues bothering on corporate competition to ensure that consumers get a greater choice of products at lower prices.

According to the institute, Ghanaians have little understanding of issues relating to competition among corporate organizations.

At a meeting to discuss the passing of the Competition Bill into law, Dr Charles Ackah, a Research Fellow at ISSER, noted that Ghana lacked a comprehensive consumer protection law.

The meeting dubbed 'National Reference Group' brought together officials from various ministries, department and agencies as well as people from the regulatory authorities, Ghana Trades Union Congress, and consumer protection groups.

Dr Ackah noted that a research organized by ISSER with support from Consumer Utility and Trust Society (CUTS), a non-governmental organization that pursue social justice and economic equity, showed that 58 per cent of Ghanaians had no knowledge of rules or laws that checked anti-competitive behaviors.

Giving examples of some sectors that have created monopoly in the country and not offering Ghanaians the best of services and prices, he listed those in the water and power sectors, cement industry and land telephone lines.

Dr Ackah said such sectors should be liberalized and open to competition in order to provide consumers with better services and relatively affordable prices.

He pointed out that ISSER in collaboration with authorities of the university intends to set up a Centre for Trade Policy and Competition Analysis to offer Masters Programme to help many Ghanaians understand competition issues.

Mr Rijit Sengupta, an official from CUTS International, India, noted that a competition policy has a huge role to play in the development of the economy.

He called for increased advocacy to help tackle some market abuses and protect consumers in Ghana.

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