The Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) Ghana, a research and advocacy policy think tank, has urged government to ensure that the competition law is passed by December 2019.
According to the Country Coordinator of CUTS Ghana, Appiah Kusi Adomako, Ghanaians are being denied the opportunity to enjoy high quality goods and services at competitive prices due to the absence of a competition law.
He made the comments on the sidelines of a forum to commemorate world competition day here in Accra.
World Competition Day, which aims to raise awareness about competition-related issues, is celebrated in about 100 countries worldwide and was first marked in Ghana by CUTS in 2013.
The Day, is observed annually to create awareness regarding the role of competition among businesses, in improving product quality as well helping in ensuring fair prices.
This year’s forum was on the theme “The Relevance of Competition Law to Ghana’s Economic Transformation” saw stakeholders speak on the need to push for the passage of a competition law without delay.
The draft document for the law which has been with the Ministry of Trade and Industry for over 10 years has not received the needed support to ensure that its finally passed.
But in an interview with Citi Business News on the sidelines of the forum, Country Coordinator of CUTS Ghana, Appiah Kusi Adomako said there is no justification for the delay in the passage of the law.
“In the absence of the competition law, what we are seeing is that some businesses are engaged in restrictive trade practices like price fixing, bid rigging and abuse of dominance, and when this happens consumers suffer in the market. We are therefore using the world competition day to remind the Ministry to hasten the process for us to get a well-functioning competition law to guide the conduct of the market.”
World Competition Day which is marked on December 5th each year, seeks to encourage companies to offer consumer goods and services on more favourable terms, with each company required to establish prices and other terms on its own without agreeing with the competitor.
Stakeholders like CUTS Ghana and other civil society organizations have been calling for the passage of the Competition law for years.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana International Trade Commission, Mr. Frank Agyekum, said it is time to start developing a law to protect consumers.
“The Ministry is working on it. That should tell you that there is a focus to get the law passed. We however have to use the laws in practice now to deal the challenges of anti-competition tendencies in the market. The commitment is there, so you should be sure that the time that has been given would be adhered to for the passage of the law. We should all help in moving the process forward.”