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23.03.2004 Business & Finance

GSB asked to provide impetus for quality products

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Accra, March 23, GNA - The Ghana Standards Board (GSB) has been charged to brace itself and endeavour to provide the general guidelines and the necessary impetus for the promotion of quality, in all economic activities through the use of standards.
"This is to ensure that goods and services produced in the country are of acceptable and consistent quality, to enhance Ghana's competitiveness in the global market", Mr Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiatives, said on Tuesday. Speaking at a workers' durbar as part of his tour of the GSB premises in Accra, Mr Kyerematen said in spite of the achievements chalked so far by the Board, there were "many challenges ahead that needed to be addressed".
As part of the tour, the Minister commissioned a Local Area Network (LAN) and a 51,000-pound sterling stand-by generator with a power capacity of 500 KVA to help improve the Board's service delivery. Mr Kyerematen said, though the current infrastructure at the GSB was "excellent national assets, we should be proud of, more work needed to be done for the Board to become one of the global standardization pillars".
He said there were still some inferior quality goods on the Ghanaian market, most of which were either imported or locally produced, adding, "if goods are inferior on the market, the GSB must jointly be held responsible for having failed to do its work efficiently".
The Minister, therefore charged GSB to decentralize its system of operation across the country by consulting the Universities and other stakeholders for assistance to ensure its effectiveness nationwide. He challenged the Board to explore and standardize the informal sector like the markets where "traders use anything like the 'Olonka' to measure or weigh goods and products".
Mr Kyerematen said the Government would provide the Board with the needed support and encouragement at all times in the performance of its functions to enable it to perform better.
He also urged GSB to streamline its operations and draw the lines between it and the Food and Drugs Board "so you can all work to complement each other to ensure that Ghanaians consumed better and safe goods."
During the tour, which was his first, the Minister inspected the General Chemistry, Cosmetics, Toxicology, Drugs and Leather, Polymers and Textiles Laboratories to acquaint himself with activities of the Board.
Mr Nimo Ahinkorah, Executive Director of the GSB, and other members of the Board of Directors, who took the Minister round, commended the Government for its assistance to the Board, especially for earmarking 10 pick-ups to GSB this year for it carry out its consumer protection programme.

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