250 Standards enforcement officers undergo police training
About 250 officials of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) are currently undergoing law enforcement training at the Ghana Police Service Training School in Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
The trainees, who would be given special uniforms after the training, are expected to receive training in evidence gathering, preparation of dockets and other law enforcement skills to help ensure that imported goods and those manufactured in the country meet acceptable standards.
Known as the Trading Standards Officers (TSOs), they have been drafted for the first time into the country’s standards regulation regime to conduct market surveillance and other activities to weed out fake brands and inject sanity into the trading of goods in the country.
The Director General of the GSA, Professor Alex Dodoo, who made this known last Wednesday, said the TSOs would be posted to various trading posts in the country from next week to conduct routine checks or investigate complaints on local traders and businesses.
"For example, they will take samples of goods for testing, check the accuracy of weighing scales and measures, such as for beer and spirits in pubs and clubs, and make sure labelling is correct and advertising is not misleading," he said.
Prof. Dodoo was addressing journalists when he led the Secretary General of the International Standards Organisation (ISO), Sergio Mujica, and the Secretary General of the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO), Dr Hermogène Nsengimana, to pay a courtesy call on the Minister of Trade and Industry,
Kobina Tahiru Hammond, and the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, in Accra.
Mr Mujica and Dr Nsengimana are on a three-day official visit to Ghana in support of the GSA’s strides for an effective standards regime in the country and Prof. Dodoo’s role in the promotion of global standards in his capacity as the President of ARSO.
Prof. Dodoo said over the last few years, the GSA, with support from the government, had put in place the necessary legislation and framework to make industry competitive, riding on the back of standards.
The operation of the TSOs, he said, was a major intervention that would help make the country suitable for fair trade at the global level.
“What we are doing here is getting global recognition and that is why we have the ISO and ARSO Secretary Generals in the country visiting, to express hope in what we are doing and rally industry along,” Prof. Dodoo said.
Mr Mujica said Ghana was ready for massive industrialisation that could help speed up development and open up the country to the rest of the world as a major manufacturing hub.
With the African Continental Free Trade Area headquartered in Accra, Mr Mujica said it was only prudent for Ghana to lead the way in encouraging fair trade by adhering to global standards.
He expressed appreciation to the GSA for taking steps to enhance the enforcement of standards, adding that although standards can be adopted voluntarily by organisations, it was prudent for regulators to enforce them to ensure compliance.