The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has identified more than 6,000 substandard and inferior electrical products on the market and therefore called for collaboration between importers, manufacturers and dealers to rid them off the system.
Speaking with electrical cable dealers at a meeting in Accra yesterday, the Director-General of the GSA, Professor Alex Dodoo, said the worrying aspect of the issue was that these cables were not in the data base of the authority yet most of them had been labelled as imported.
“It is instructive to state that we have 21 registered brands of electrical wires in the country and these brands are either imported or manufactured in Ghana and are duly certified by the GSA. However, there are quite a number of other cables on the market whose sources are difficult to tell,” he emphasised.
Prof. Dodoo said as part of measures to ensure standards, their operations at the country’s ports of entry had been strengthened thus, making it difficult for goods or cables that do not measure up to the required standards to enter the country.
“However, we have picked intelligence that some of the uncertified cables are manufactured in the country, while others are smuggled through the porous land borders of the country into the market. For this reason we are intensifying our market surveillance and we will require greater collaborations with you all,” he said.
According to him collaboration was ongoing with the dealers and trade associations to identify and deal with persons flooding the market with such products.
“We don’t want you to feel that we are in to destroy your businesses but we must ensure standards since it is only standards that can keep you in continuous business,” the D-G stated.
Prof. Dodoo said the authority’s new Legislative Instrument empowered it to also mete out punitive measures to offenders.
The President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Dr Joseph Obeng, said the call was in the right direction and pledged to support the authority to achieve its objectives.
He said the need to ensure parity in trading and commerce in the country was very critical to their businesses, however, parity could only be attained if standards were enforced.
Dr Obeng said the authority would have to intensify its collaborative efforts with all the major stakeholders in the sector.
He said the negative effects of these substandard electrical products, especially electrical cables were dire and contributed to the burning of houses.