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Fire Ministers First Before Us: CLOGSAG To Govt

The leaders of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) have indicated that they will resist any attempt by government to layoff workers in the public sector.

The Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo indicated on Monday that “the public sector is full” and government “may even have to lay some off.”

Speaking at the Ghana Economic Forum on Monday, August 7, 2017 on the theme: ‘The Ghanaian-Owned Economy: 60 Years After Independence’, Mr Maafo said it was about time Ghanaian tertiary institutions started producing ‘technical brains’ who can be absorbed by the public sector so that pressure on the public sector will be reduce.

“They [graduates] only find jobs if the private sector grows, if the private sector expands, if the private sector becomes prosperous,” the Senior Minister said, adding: “If we do not get our mindset in this direction, then we are heading for trouble as a country.”

“Most people coming out of our universities,” he said, “are not technical brains.” “Most of them are in the humanities.”

“It is very expensive for the private sector to put up a credible technical university, so, most of the private sectors go into the training of marketing, sociology, economics. Those subjects can be easily taught without expensive laboratories and workshops.”

But speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM on Tuesday August 8, Mr Asante Wiafe, Eastern Regional Chair of CLOGSAG said: “Probably the Senior Minister was asked to come test the waters to see the reaction but we can assure them that we will not allow that to happen, we will fiercely resist any such decision.

“Think of this, the cost the state will incur in laying off workers can rather be used to pay the workers or probably employ more and so we are just watching for now, but we will resist that decision if they decide to implement.”

He added: “If the government wants us to buy into this decision, then the president will have to start with the ministers, he should reduce the number of ministers before talking about laying off workers.”

FDA’s Infractions Lead To Low Quality, Uncertified Drugs On Market – Auditor-General's Report

The 2016 Auditor-General's Report has cited the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) for infractions that have allowed uncertified and low quality medicines to enter the market.

The infractions include keeping unregistered drugs at the FDA canteen, keeping detained drugs on the premises of offending companies, failure to register some medicines and allowing importers to import drugs into the country before securing import permits for the drugs.

Per the report, the audit was to find out whether measures were put in place by the FDA to regulate the importation and manufacture of medicines on the Ghanaian market and ensure that medicines were safe and met the required standards for use.

It covered the period from 2010 to 2013.

Drugs in FDA canteen

On the drugs at the FDA canteen, the performance audit report on ensuring safety and quality of medicines in Ghana indicated that some of the drugs had been taken from the canteen and sent to the market.

Besides, it indicated that the canteen was not in good condition, which might have affected the efficacy of the drugs before they were finally released to the owners.

Answering questions before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament yesterday, the acting Chief Executive of the FDA, Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, said the medicines were stored at the canteen due to the lack of a warehouse facility.

She said the drugs were kept for a short time there and indicated that the windows to the canteen were opened to give the medicines the right temperature.

She said the FDA conducted tests on the medicines and okayed their quality before they were released to the owners.

Mrs Darko denied the claim that some of the drugs were stolen from the canteen and taken to the market, saying there was no evidence to that effect.

Keeping medicines with companies

The report indicated that the FDA kept unlicensed drugs in the warehouses of offending companies, with the drugs ending up on the market.

Mrs Darko said there was no space at the ports or the FDA to detain unlicensed drugs.

Therefore, she said, the authority was compelled, under the circumstance, to keep unlicensed drugs in the warehouses of offending companies.

She said the FDA locked the warehouses and indicated that some of the companies broke the locks.

She said the FDA had now secured two warehouses, one for drugs and the other for food.

She added that the FDA was putting up a warehouse as part of its office project in Tema and said the project was expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Registration failures

The report said certain drugs on the market were not registered but they had ended up on the market.

On that, Mrs Darko explained that some of the drugs were in the process of being registered by the FDA.

She said the drugs were of good quality, except that they were going through the registration process when they found their way onto the market.

Importation

The report revealed that most importers applied for permit after the arrival of consignments at the ports, which presented a high risk of unauthorised medicines entering the market.

Responding, Mrs Darko admitted that the current system of importation was not the best.

She said the FDA was teaming up with the port authorities to ensure that the authority played a central role before the importation of drugs.

She said the FDA conducted spot sampling of drugs at the ports, did market surveillance, conducted pharmaco-vigilance tests and destroyed low quality drugs or got them re-exported.

She said those measures were to ensure that the quality of medicines was maintained.

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