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‘Probe Importation of School Uniforms’   
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The Ghana Federation of Labour has called for investigations into how already-sewn basic school uniforms from China were imported into the country.

That, it said, was in spite of the government’s decision to use local manufacturers to produce school uniforms under its policy to supply 1.6 million free uniforms for schoolchildren in deprived communities.
The Chinese school uniforms, cited by the Daily Graphic, have the Ghana flag embossed on them. They have the inscription “Hecho en China” and are selling at GH¢7 each on the market.

Apart from the Ghana flag, there is another inscription, “JSS Primary School”. The Chinese uniforms, according to the label, are made up of 6.5 per cent polyester and 3.5 per cent cotton. The material used for the uniforms is light, thereby raising questions about its durability.
“If we hadn’t raised questions about the purchase of uniforms from China, this is what the government was going to import,” the General Secretary of the Ghana Federation of Labour, Mr Abraham Koomson, told the Daily Graphic.

The Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, on Monday refuted media reports which suggested that the government had imported some school uniforms from China.

He said the government was still committed to “procuring 100 per cent of the school uniforms locally”.

Mr Koomson said although the government had decided to use local printers for the production of the free uniforms, those who went ahead to import the Chinese uniforms must be brought to book, since it was an act of sabotage.

“These are the same people who wanted the government to sue the Chinese uniforms, despite the capacity of local producers to produce the uniforms,” he stated.

Mr Koomson said the local industry had suffered over the years due to the smuggling of cheap materials into the country, saying that out of a workforce of about 25,000 in the 1970s, it now had less than 4,000 workers.

He said smuggling had resulted in the collapse of the local industry and stressed the need for urgent action such as unannounced checks by the security agencies on the markets to seize smuggled prints and arrest the smugglers.
Source: Daily Graphic

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