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General News of Sunday, 18 May 2008

Source: GNA

New Building code in the offing - GSB

Ho, May 18, GNA - A new national building code to ensure that all constructional works meet stipulated technical standards will soon be launched as pat of efforts to meet current trend of development and safety, the Ghana Standards Board said at the weekend. Mr Fred Owusu Gyamera, Principal Standard's officer, said the new code would give material specifications and fortification standards to guide Building Inspectors when evaluating jobs.

He was speaking at a seminar on the National Quality Infrastructure and the Relevance and Usage of Standards to National Development. The seminar, organised for students of the Ho Polytechnic in Ho, was one in a series of outreaches to sensitize tertiary students on standardization and its benefits.

The existing constructional works policy is about 40 years old and unsuitable for the industry's scientific and technical progression. Mr Gyamera said standardization was a worldwide phenomenon, which was crucial for every aspect of human activity without which trade transactions could be chaotic.

He said quality assurance departments were supposed to play crucial roles to ensure that end products met the required standards to enable Ghanaian products compete adequately on the international market. He cited the tiles on the floor of the Polytechnic's auditorium, venue for the seminar, saying it was too slippery and therefore did not pass standards.

"Floors of some airports are so shining you could see your face in them but would never slip," Mr Gyamera stated.

He said standards must move along with technology, saying modern trends in vulcanizing for example could make a "mended tyre as good as a new one".

Mr Gyamera called for a rehash of management processes in industry in Ghana to reduce waste of man-hours; energy and other factors in production. He said this would make locally produced goods affordable, noting that affordability was an important determinant of quality. He said the low level of consumerism in Ghana had given room to the increase of spurious products in Ghanaian markets. Mr Charles Amoako, Principal Standards Officer, Marketing and Public Relations who spoke on the "National Quality Infrastructure and Ghana Standard's Board's activities called for collaboration among regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drugs Board, Energy Commission and Ghana Tourist Board to ensure that products and services under their regulation conformed to standards approved by the GSB. Speaking on metrology, the science of weights and measures, one of core areas of standardization activities, Mr Amoako observed that decisions in production not based on accurate measurement of any kind normally failed.

Mr Ben Honyenugah, Coordinator of the Change Management Unit of the Polytechnic, called for a crusading consumer movement to encourage Ghanaians to reject substandard goods and protest at poor service delivery.

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