By David A. Yates and Robin Dopoe
To deepen regional integration and consolidate the implementation of the quality infrastructure, the Liberian government on Friday, April 5, 2019, awarded and certificated Duraplast-Liberia the “Diamond Excellence Award” as the first recipient of the National Quality Award (NQA), 2017.
Duraplast is the manufacturer of poly tank, PVC, UPVC pipes, fittings all kinds of household products.
The NQA award has been instituted to encourage businesses to adhere to the highest quality standards in their operations to promote their competitiveness in international trade, which has become a major constraint on the participation of member states in the West African region in the world trade.
The goal of the Awards, according to organizers, is to promote and review excellence in organizational performance through quality awareness and understanding of the requirements of quality excellence for products and services of local manufacturers, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and businesses.
The organizers further said that the awards were also presented based on the results of audits conducted with the candidate companies. Within each category, special awards for leadership, product development, resource management, and stakeholder orientation were also presented.
Deputy Commerce Minister for Trade Services, Nyema Wisner, who commented on the coveted award, said NQA is a concrete demonstration of government’s commitment to ensure that culture is established through the promotion of quality as the foundation for enhancing trade and consumer protection.
Wisner appreciated the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission for its commitment to member states through the West Africa Quality Program by ensuring the successful implementation of the program.
“Duraplast received this first edition of the NQA for two years for its contribution and production of standardized products,” Wisner said.
He added, “the award shows our firm support to the implementation of activities related to the ECOWAS Quality Policy through the West African Quality System Program, which is implemented by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and funded by the European Union (EU).”
Therefore, as a ministry and government, “we strongly recognize, as pacesetters for private sector, those local industries that braved up to participate in the first edition of this Award. It reflects your commitment to quality. I hope that the award and certificates that will be presented, will serve as impetus for greater commitment of quality and customer satisfaction,” Wisner added.
He indicated that the award cannot be overemphasized because it will build better business images and increase market share.
Wisner hopes that local businesses and industries will take advantage of this great opportunity of ensuring that products and services are aligned with the best management practices in accordance with international standards, which will enhance capacity to compete at regional and international levels, leading to expansion for markets and increased revenue.
“In so doing, it will also be recognized that as the Government of Liberia implements its Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, the National Quality Award will set the platform for increasing the competitiveness of local business and industrious.”
Wisner used the occasion to thank the EU and UNIDO for their support to regional and national programs that are strategic in helping the region to reach its development goals.
He then launched the second edition of the National Quality Award 2019, that accompanied activities should be implemented in accordance with the schedule distributed to them by calling on all businesses and local industries to fully participate.
Received the award on behalf of his company, Duraplast chairperson, Rashpal Sigh, commonly known as Paul, expressed the hope that the stance taken by NQA and the ECOWAS Commission will go a long way to promote quality products in Liberia.
He promised Liberians that the award received has put him in a position to go beyond the extra mile in producing quality materials in the country.
Earlier, Nyenti Kaffey, head of technical secretariat of the NQA, named three companies, including Metalum, Fouani Brothers Incorporated, and Duraplast, which became victorious in two years ago.
He said the awards were also presented based on the results of audits conducted with the candidate companies. Within each category, special awards for leadership, product development, resource management, and stakeholder orientation were also presented.
“It is believed that initiatives like this one will help the country address the age-old problem of poor quality of service or products in the country, and will serve as a platform to encourage Liberian- owned and foreign-owned businesses to prioritize quality to boost their market value and give them the advantage of exporting their products,” Kaffey added.