The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) have expressed their excitement over the planned harmonization of functions of the Ghana Standards Authority and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
According to Director-General for the Ghana Standards Authority Prof. Alex Dodoo the move is to avoid duplicated services from the two-state organizations aimed at facilitating the ease of doing business in the country.
“There is a provision in the act which allows the board to invite members to be observers during board meetings. The CEO of FDA was invited as an observer and has been present in all meetings. the key contents for the meeting was how to promote Ghanaian businesses, how to ensure consumers are safe and how to assure that processes which are repetitive in both institutions are cancelled so that one institution will rely on the result of the other to avoid going through a queue to get an FDA registration and going through a queue to get a GSA registration. The decisions made at the meeting are to improve turnaround times to reduce cost to industries and to ensure that the IGF for both institutions go up,” Prof. Alex Dodoo told Starr News in an interview
Some workers of the GSA are however agitating over the move expressing concerns of possible job losses. But According to the Director-General, the concerns are unfounded since the organization already has existing collaborations with other agencies. Prof. Dodoo argued the harmonization move with the FDA will rather ensure increased in revenue for the GSA.
“For the past three years no single job of GSA has been lost as a result of collaboration with any Organization either with Food and Drugs Authority or National petroleum Authority or any other group we have worked with. The harmonization of our organization is good for everybody. We will get more funding than we ever use to get by doing excess work. The FDA will also be able to rely on our test result to get consumers their results faster. Those who need the made in Ghana logo will get it because we have put things in place to ensure quick processes. We will also ensure the consumer is going to see a slight reduction in the prices of goods they purchase.” He added
GUTA whose members stand to benefit from the initiative is urging the two institutions to roll out the plan as soon as possible. According to GUTA President Dr. Joseph Obeng the business community has been yearning for the harmonization for a while now given the duplication of services between the GSA and the FDA.
“We are very excited about this harmonization. This is an issue that we’ve been talking about for so many years. There were times that the institutions at the port numbered around 15 and then we complained and this has been pulled down. And then, institutions like the Ghana Standards Authority and Food and Drugs Authority clearly you will see that there will be duplications of functions, overlap of functions and all that….that’s why we are very happy that now the understanding has come for them to be harmonized.”
“You know business triumphs on ease of doing business, time of doing business and cost of doing business, and this thing is going to address just that. It is going to make sure that time of doing business is controlled and then ease is also because it means that we are not going to be unnecessarily being delayed and all that and that you go to a place, one stop shop, and then you get your work done.
That will go a long way to stimulate growth into businesses and we are very happy about this development. I have great deal of confidence in the 2 CEOs. They are some of the few dynamic CEOs and coming together harmonize their functions is a good idea. I don’t have any doubt that it’s going to help us,” He added.