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GSA, police clamp down on substandard products

BY: Timothy Ngnenbe
Mr Vincent Arthur (left) Head of Engineering Department of the Ghana Standards Authority, briefing journalists on some substandard electrical cables. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR
Mr Vincent Arthur (left) Head of Engineering Department of the Ghana Standards Authority, briefing journalists on some substandard electrical cables. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR

The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the Ghana Police Service have rolled out a joint operation to weed out sub-standard products from the market.

Under the exercise, a joint team is visiting markets and businesses to enforce standards, name and shame non-compliant entities and prosecute culprits to deter others.

The first phase of the exercise is focusing on weeding out sub-standard electrical appliances, building materials and electronic products.
At a news conference in Accra yesterday, the Director-General of the GSA, Professor Alex Dodoo, said an enforcement team would be deployed to the country’s borders to track and help curb the importation of fake products.

“Our markets have been flooded with fake and sub-standard products due to dumping and other illegal activities of some people at the ports. Ghanaians pay taxes that have been used to set up the GSA to ensure that they enjoy quality products, so it is about time consumers are taken seriously in this country,” he stressed.

Diligence

Flanked by the Deputy Directors in charge of Conformity Assessment, Mr Kofi Nagetey, and Operations, Mr Charles Amoako, the Director-General of the GSA said the authority would leave no stone unturned to sanitise the markets to ensure that consumers got value for the goods they purchased.


He said the GSA had held discussions with stakeholders such as the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana Union of Trade Associations (GUTA), Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Ghana Police Service to help sustain the exercise.

“The GSA has a mandate to promote trade and protect consumers, so we are saying that enough is enough! We cannot allow illegal operators to take over our markets.

“Our resolve to weed out fake products is solid and will not be a one-off event because we are going to be consistent, resolute and unflinching in enforcing standards and cracking the whip on illegal operators in the system,” he stressed.

Prof. Dodoo said the move to clamp down on sub-standard products would be done across all sectors of the economy in a manner that would not leave out any offenders.

Testing points

The GSA director said that the authority had mapped out vantage points in the southern and northern sectors of the country for the testing of electrical products to ensure that such appliances met safety standards.

“This initiative makes it possible for GSA staff to use a desktop equipment to detect product quality at vantage points such as Opera Square and Okaishie in Accra and other places in Kumasi and Tamale. We have about 20 machines for this novelty which will start immediately and will be replicated in other areas across the country,” he said.

Prof. Dodoo added that the GSA had advanced moves to set up more inspection posts in the country to make it difficult for dealers in fake products to penetrate the markets, adding that: “We want to make it very difficult, if not impossible, for people to vend sub-standard products.”

He observed that the government’s industrialisation agenda would not achieve the desired impact on the economy, if concerted efforts were not made to clamp down on illegal trading activities that led to the dumping of sub-standard goods on the markets.

Support

The Deputy General Secretary of GUTA, Nana Opoku Acheampong, and the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the association, Mr David Amoateng, who were at the news conference, lent their support to the GSA.

They gave an assurance that GUTA would not shield any trader who failed to comply with the accepted standards in their trading activities.

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