Signature campaign for consumer protection law launched

… its absence spites Ghanaians – CPA

The absence of a consumer protection law has created a convenient environment for inferior goods to be dumped into the country, thereby turning Ghana into a junkyard, CEO of the Consumer Protection Agency (CPA), Mr. Kofi Kapito has said.

He observed that the absence of the law makes it difficult for consumer protection advocacy, as the situation consistently creates malice and spites all Ghanaians.

“It is discouragingly disheartening at the snail pace which governments for the past ten years have been handling the process. The seemingly lack of interest in the law by successive governments can be seen to have stalled the progress,” Mr. Kapito stated.

Mr. Kapito, however, indicated that though there are limited provisions in some legislation like the PURC ACT 538, NCA ACT 524 and the FDA which protects Ghanaian consumers, such provisions are scattered in over 40 statutes, making it difficult for lawyers to figure out.

Launching a petition to raise 20,000 signatories to petition government as part of activities to mark the World Consumer Rights Day observed globally on March 15 every year, the CPA and its local partner, CUTS Ghana, is asking government to finalise the draft document, approve and pass the law before the end of 2018.

“We’ll present the 20,000 signed petitions to the President, hopefully, and with no measureable progress after sometime, Ghanaian consumers would have nothing to do than to picket at the Attorney General’s Department and the Trade’s Ministry,” he disclosed.

The Centre Coordinator of CUTS Ghana, Appiah Kusi Adomako, observed that major consumer concerns in the country include high interest rates by banks with minimal interest being paid on savings, high intra ATM charges, inability of banks to inform customers about fee changes and the little protection for customer’s data.

He recommended the dissemination of relevant information to consumers while ensuring accountability in service delivery needs as major factors to consider in policy making processes.

“Ghana ought to do more to be at par with Burkina Faso, Gambia, Benin, Rwanda, Mali, Egypt, Cameroon, Nigeria, Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Tanzania, all of which have Consumer Protection Laws,” Mr. Adomako said.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe