The Ghana Standards Authority has announced plans to apprehend and severely sanction all Traders found selling substandard electrical products on the market.
To this end, the authority will from next week be conducting swoops across the various markets in the country to arrest all persons found culpable.
The vexed issue of substandard electrical products on the Ghanaian market is one that has plagued the country for some time now.
In 2018, a market scoop conducted by the Ghana Standards Authority revealed that about 96% of electrical products sold on the Ghanaian market are below standards.
The implications are many and varied. In most instances, it is cited for the many fire outbreaks in the countries markets, commercial and private homes and properties. At worst, it threatens the businesses of genuine local manufacturers in the country.
As at July this year, the country has witnessed five fire outbreaks in some of its major markets.
The Makola fire outbreak engulfed a three-story building that led to the loss of items worth millions of cedis. Also in April over forty shops were burnt in a fire outbreak at the Kumasi Central Market. Again in April a two-story building was burnt in a fire at Techiman, market, not forgetting the fire that ravaged the Mankesim market in the Central Region. There was also the timber market fire in May of this year.
Sadly, however, research has shown that consumers are likely to pay little or no attention to the kind of cables they buy to wire their homes. But rigorous laboratory tests show that these inferior cables and other products, a major cause of fire outbreaks.
Speaking to the media during a courtesy call from the Traders Advocacy Group Ghana (TAGG), the Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority, Professor Alex Dodoo said the swoop which will commence next week and persons found culpable will not be spared.
“From next week we are going around the country, and the first thing GSA wants to do is to make a business suite, our job is to facilitate business not to be a barrier to your business. Government interest is to help businesses so that you make your profit quickly, any delay from myself or staff is bad for business and bad for Ghana and please if that happens let us know because as a country if we don’t apply the necessary sanctions because as a country if our businessmen.”
“We are starting what we call electro vigilance, we are vigilant on all electrical goods, we have even build West Africa’s first air conditioning lab so that AC’s freezers and refrigerators can be tested, it is yet to be inaugurated but it is open for business”
He added that his outfit will go along with members of TAGG for the market swoops, “We will also go with you on our market surveillance, we don’t want the surveillance to be like a policeman catching a thief but rather traders and government working to make sure that the rules are the same that traders that are doing good business will have their business protected and those doing business which is not legal will not have a place to operate in Ghana”.