The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI), has revealed plans to merge the Ghana Supply Commission, and the Ghana National Procurement Authority into one National Procurement Company (NPC).
This is expected to give greater teeth to the enforcement of the recently launched Made-in-Ghana Policy, which has instructed all public institutions to procure made-in-Ghana goods and services.
The NPC, when established, would have the responsibility to identify specific goods and services procured in small quantities by the Municipal District Assemblies (MDAs) and aggregate their annual national procurement to bring significant savings to the budget and support the Made-in-Ghana Policy.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Ekow Spio-Gabrah, said at the launch of the policy that, the policy would succeed only if decision makers in MDAs with authority over procurement decisions received the necessary periodic orientation and training why and how to procure made-in-Ghana goods and services.
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He said the proposed NPC would, therefore, organise training programmes for heads of MDAs, spending officers, and procurement officers in order to equip them with knowledge about the large range of goods and services that could be provided in the country and also the need to adopt realistic procurement procedures in favour of locally manufactured goods and services.
The made-in-Ghana policy
There was no comprehensive policy or law in the country that supported the patronage of locally produced goods and services.
The Made-in-Ghana Policy, which has been developed by the government through MOTI, is therefore expected to provide the necessary framework to promote the creation, financing, production, marketing, distribution and consumption of made-in-Ghana goods.
The policy document would serve as a reference point that would guide the activities of public sector institutions, private sector business operators, advocacy groups and other stakeholders interested in promoting locally manufactured products.
The objectives of the 25-page policy document incudes the creation of awareness among the populace on the need to patronise made-in-Ghana goods and services and improve the production, processing and distribution value chain of targeted products in terms of raw material availability and adequacy of operational materials, including packaging and technology.
It is also to promote the adoption of high standards in the production, processing and distribution channel, as well as reduce the country’s import bill and improve trade balance through the use of financial and tax incentives, penalties and tariff and non-tariff interventions.
The policy prioritises six thematic sectors — agriculture and agro processing (rice, flour, tomatoes, vegetable oil, biscuit, tilapia, fruit juice and poultry), pharmaceuticals and cosmetic products, construction and allied products and leather products — and offers prescriptions for their growth.
The products are selected on criteria, including goods that are already being sufficiently produced locally, products that do not require too much resource to increase their production and products over which the country has competitive advantage in production over imported substitutes.
No compromise on quality
The Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Mr Samuel Silas Mensah, in a speech read on his behalf, said while the aim of the policy was to increase demand for local goods, quality would not be compromised as public health and safety were at stake.
“The policy will engender scientific research and technological development, as manufacturers increasingly seek ways to attain and maintain higher standards for their products and services. It is imperative that they must aim at excellence, diligence and be thorough in what they do, so as to continually improve processes, products and services at any and every stage of the supply chain,” he said.
With very poor perceptions of Made-in-Ghana goods inhibiting patronage, even by public institutions, he observed that the policy would be successful only if decision makers in the ministries, departments and agencies with authority over procurement decisions received the necessary periodic orientation on why and how to procure locally produced goods and services.
Mr Mensah, however, said the PPA would continue to organise training programmes for the heads of MDAs, spending officers and procurement officers to build capacity on the wide range of tools provided by the country’s procurement law.