A team from the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has met with the seven-member Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism to chart the way forward in addressing the issue of fake electrical products in the market.
The meeting also discussed the inability of stakeholders to adhere to the Building Code, which has resulted in the collapse of offices, buildings and supermarkets.
Professor Alex Dodoo, the GSA Director General, said Market Surveillance conducted by the Authority revealed that some of the electrical products sold at the Opera Square and Zongo lane in Accra were counterfeit and failed to meet standards.
The Surveillance discovered that most of those goods failed to meet the GSA Legislative Instrument 1541 labelling requirements and all extension boards at the two centres failed the critical parameters test and general labelling requirements.
Prof. Dodoo described the situation as a crisis, adding that the Authority would continue to embark on the periodic surveillance to rid the market of such products.
He said the Surveillance was part of the Authority’s improved effort at checking the proliferation of fake and substandard products onto the market.
He explained that the move was critical due to the increased importation of counterfeit products onto the local market, saying the country was losing millions of cedis due to the sale of such products.
Prof Dodoo assured the public that the Authority would continue to roll-out measures to clear the system of such fake products to secure the health and lives of Ghanaians.
He stated that GSA had put in place a testing laboratory as part of measures to effectively tackle the concern of fake and sub-standard electrical products in the country.
Prof. Dodoo said most of those products were often smuggled into the country through unapproved routes and that the Authority continued to collaborate with the appropriate authorities to ensure strict adherence to international law.
He encouraged the public to purchase their electrical cables from GSA certified companies and conduct effective background checks before procuring any electrical products.
Mr Ato Panford, the Vice Chairperson of the Committee, after verifying the ceased electrical products, promised to put the issue before the Speaker of Parliament for discussion to find solutions.
He said the findings of the survey were scary, stressing that the populace were all at risk, calling for concerted efforts to rise up to the occasion before it got out of hand.
Mr Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, the Ranking Member of the Committee, said members would work with the Authority to address the problem, adding that the Committee would collaborate with stakeholders to enforce the rules on non-compliance of electrical products.
He stated that political interference had been the bane in enforcing rules and regulations in the country, urging the Authority to defy all odds and enforce the rules accordingly to serve as deterrent to potential offenders.
Mr Inusah Fuseini, a Member of the Committee, urged the Authority to collaborate with other agencies such as the Customs Division of the Internal Revenue Authority and the Immigration Service to collectively combat the situation.
Mr Sulemana Yusif, a Committee Member, called for a national campaign in collaboration with the Ministry of Information to educate the masses on the dangers posed on fake electrical cables.
Mrs Gifty Twum-Ampofo, the Member of the Committee, urged GSA to have a consultative meeting with the district assemblies to begin the advocacy with the Ghana Union of Traders Association to find solutions to the issue.