The construction of cement factories in the country has been suspended.
The directive by the Ministry of Trade and Industry which takes immediate effect is a temporary measure aimed at streamlining the issuance of permits by various regulatory institutions before the construction of new cement factories could be considered.
The directive was issued at the launch of a national quality policy in Accra yesterday.
The policy gives specific prescriptions for the operationalisation of a national quality infrastructure (NQI).
The NQI is a system that includes laws, policies, legal and regulatory frameworks, as well as institutions that oversee the production and supply of quality products and services.
It will ensure that the production and provision of goods and services meet internationally acceptable quality standards.
The directive was contained in a speech read on behalf of the Minister of Trade and Industry, K. T. Hammond, by the Director of Industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones at the ministry, Dr John Hawkins Asiedu.
The minister also explained that the directive was to enable relevant authorities to address issues of concern to the government such as standards and quality assurance and adherence to environmental safeguards.
“It is against this background that I have been working intensely with the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) to activate some of the key provisions in the authority’s Act 2022 (Act 1078), as well as quality policy prescriptions.
“This is to ensure expeditious action in all matters related to calibration, verification and testing of weights or measures or instruments for weighing or measuring and systems of measurement,” he added.
Mr Hammond said he had also directed the GSA to commence processes to develop measurement standards for the oil and gas industry to enhance revenue assurance, transparency and accountability in the operations of all players in the oil and gas sector.
The Director-General of GSA, Prof. Alex Dodoo, told the Daily Graphic in an interview that the coming into force of the quality policy and GSA’s five-year strategic plan point to enforcement to protect lives and ensure good health.
He said the authority would enforce the laws on standards with the new Standards Act which permitted the GSA to close down establishments that either traded or manufactured substandard products.
Unlike before when the authority needed to collaborate with the Ghana Police Service to enforce laws on standards, Prof. Dodoo said the new law had removed that impediment, allowing the GSA to swiftly enforce the law.
“We want to assure you that GSA is ready to protect lives and well-being of citizens by putting in place a solid infrastructure which includes systems and people to ensure standardisation,” he said.
The National Quality Policy was approved by Cabinet in April 2022, in line with the Africa Quality Policy, consistent with global best practice.
The approval of the policy was followed by the passage of the Ghana Standards Authority Act in 2022, and the Ghana National Accreditation Act in 2023.
These have boosted the nation’s quality infrastructure and provided the needed tools to ensure the production of world-class goods and services in the country.