Consumers must focus on the long-tern value of products they buy, and not just on the price of such items as a means to combat cheap, counterfeit products smuggled into the country, Prof. Douglas Boateng – Board Chairman of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) has advocated.
The country loses over US$5billion annually to the importation of counterfeit and substandard products, much to the disadvantage of local companies.
According to him, institutions and the country at large tend to focus more on short-term price gains as opposed to looking at the implications of whatever is procured.
“What has been happening in our dear country is that we tend to focus more on short-term price gains as opposed to looking at the implications of whatever we buy, and this is the reason our markets have virtually become a dumping ground for cheap, sub-standard and counterfeit products,” he told B&FT in an interview at a WASP Limited [Hewlett Packard International’s accredited managed print services provider in Ghana] Breakfast Seminar in Accra.
“Once you do not do that, it indicates you have a long-term-thinking mentality – which means you will look at the implications on your organisation, industry and society as a whole, so you are not just buying for short-term profit,” Prof. Boateng said.
He also maintained that this has a rippling effect on local industries. Since counterfeit products are cheap, local companies are unable to compete and have been forced to close down. This also comes with the attendant job-losses.
“We are de-industrialising our own markets as a result of grey, counterfeit and sub-standard products,” he warned.
Prof.Boateng revealed that the country’s GDP can double within ten years if we focus on value, because “we will be producing locally to feed the budget”.
He indicated that there has to be a policy: consumers need to be vigilant, and businesses also need policies as well as a government strategy on how to criminalise the use and importation of fake, counterfeit and sub-standard products.
Prof. Alex Dodoo, Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority, stated that the issue of standardisation and quality has to do with making Ghanaians aware and enforcing existing laws.
He also added that they are collaborating with the PPA, Food and Drugs Authority to ensure quality standards are adhered to in the country – whether by local or foreign traders.
The forum was on the theme ‘Value for Money and Total Acquisition Cost of Ownership: The Inextricable Link’, and was primarily an opportunity for WASP Limited to introduce two IT solutions to its clients – HP Daas and HP Managed Print Services.
On his part, the Managing Director of WASP Limited, Grant Webber, stated that their solutions provide linkages between workforce, workflow and workspace, which ensures optimum efficiency, full mobility and offers the highest levels of data security.
Among its Managed Print Services are included hardware, software, high-yield toners and service level agreements.
The Country Manager-Enterprise, Sales West and Central Africa for HP, Emmanuel Eze, stated that his company is committed to quality; and that technology devices these days are measured on the value they add to a business.
According to him, HP tailors its services to meet the needs of its clients as well as reducing cost.