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Opinions Sat, 25 Jan 2003

Why Cry? ... SSNIT Sabotage President's Initiative”

In a reaction to this story regarding SSNIT’s decision to contract garments to a South African company, there are two important dimensions for the PSI and the business community in the garments industry to consider. First and foremost it must be understood that whatever the PSI aims at, products and services must be competitive on the world market in terms of both quality and service. There is no reason to buy anything for the sake of buying in support of a government program. That in my opinion is wrong and does not enhance the skills of industry in Ghana.

What should get the attention of both parties is to what extent, the customer, SSNIT, sees the award to the SA company more beneficial than awarding it to a Ghanaian company. From this perspective, the producers of garments should learn and possibly collaborate with the SA counterparts to deliver efficiency in their operation.

The issue may be a lack of adequate sourcing or pure shoddy workmanship. The garment manufacturers must cease the opportunity to enhance their quality and services.

I actually admire SSNIT for taking this stance, as today, Ghanaian corporations are being asked to make sound decisions in their operations, and to this end they must get the best for their buck. Global sourcing is all part of the game and to think that the mere existence of a company registered in Ghana gives it any right to get contract awards for the sake of it being Ghanaian owned and/or operated, makes no sense.

If you are that good as an industry, then translate it to sales and stop accusing SSNIT of not being patriotic. It gets you, nowhere fast.

Once again, I commend SSNIT, if this action is based truly on the facts stated. It is important for local industry to understand that, in the world of today, as much as we wish for product loyalty, the point of the matter is that everyone, including individuals, want more for their buck. To meet this expectation, companies need to be sophisticated in their procurement methods, operational methods, and marketing efforts.

This is not the first time that products from SA have been determined to be much superior in quality and also cost effective even after shipping costs are incurred, so there must be something there to be learned. Take on some “south-south” technology and technical transfer, instead of always looking to the Western world. It might do Ghana some good.

The original story can be found on Ghanaweb.

Source: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=31879

Columnist: Folson, Ako