Professor Alex Dodoo, Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA)
The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) will from this July conduct swoops across the nation to rid the Ghanaian market of substandard electrical cables and appliances.
Prof Alex Dodoo, Director-General, GSA, said the Authority, would be conducting the swoops with the help of the police.
He said the action would be followed by punitive measures such as prosecution, naming and shaming of culprits.
Prof Dodoo, who made the disclosure at a press conference in Accra, explained that whether through dumping or otherwise, the number and type of products the GSA has come across through their market surveillance, leaves a lot to be desired in meeting the standards.
He said increasingly, through their activities at the ports, the GSA has seized a quite a few more substandard electrical cables than usual.
Prof Dodoo said the GSA would ensure that whatever Ghanaians buy on the market meets the expected standards.
''We must ensure that we protect ourselves by offering the best available standards and at the end of the day, the tax payer will know that quality is guaranteed by the state, and where people decide to do otherwise, we will press for the stiffest sanctions,” he said.
''Through our activities at the port, we have been seizing quite a few more than usual; so what we decided to do as, Standards Authority is to ensure that, first and foremost we work to the expectations of the public, because they pay their taxes; and ensure that whatever they buy meets the expected standards,” he said.
Prof Dodoo said in taking such actions, there is a possibility that things might be misread or misquoted; and that first and foremost what the Authority has done is to meet the Executives of Greater Accra Regional Branch of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) to explain to them their expectations.
He said the situation where people spend their hard earned money to buy products that did not meet the minimum standards, should not be tolerated.
He said in addition, they had also met with the leadership of the Ghana Electrical Dealers Association on the same issue.
He said the information they had indicates that at least for one electrical gadget nearly 80 per cent were not according to the standard.
He said the GSA’s job is to promote trade and protect consumers; declaring that “we need to promote trade but it must be fair and honest trade”.
“Things that will harm Ghanaian are not acceptable because they pay their taxes for us to do our job and if our job is to keep the market clean, we must keep it clean. We're also appealing to Ghanaians to cooperate with us and let us work together to clean up the country.”
''Secondly we know one of government's flagship programmes includes the establishment of factories and how will these factories survive if they are competing unfairly with substandard products,” he quizzed.
He said: ''We want to stop dumping. And Ghana should not be a dumping ground”.
He said the GSA would tighten its operations at the nation’s borders and ports on entry to prevent the entry of substandard goods.
Mr David Amoateng, Greater Accra Regional Chairman, GUTA, hailed the GSA for the initiative and pledged GUTA’s support for the GSA towards ridding Ghana’s market of substandard products.
At the press briefing were Mr Kofi Nagetey, GSA Deputy Director-General, in-charge of Operations, and Mr Charles Asamoah, GSA Deputy Director General, in-charge of Conformity Assessment.
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit him at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.