Photo: Mr Francis Ameyibor (Executive Director, CDA Consult)
Stakeholders in the electrical product business have been challenged to take up the fight to weed out fake dealers in the system to protect the sanctity of the sector.
The proliferation of counterfeit electrical products and electronic appliances was dangerous not only to human lives but also impede and dent the image of genuine dealers in the sector, Mr Francis Ameyibor, the Executive Director of the Communication for Development and Advocacy Consult (CDA Consult), said in Accra on Thursday.
He, therefore, called on genuine dealers to join forces with state and non-state actors to weed out counterfeiters and eliminate fake electrical products and electronic appliances from the Ghanaian market.
Mr Ameyibor was speaking on the recent Market Surveillance Report launched in Accra by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), which said large quantities of sampled electrical products failed standard test.He said reducing the number of counterfeiters in the market environment would not only create a bigger space for genuine dealers but also save the nation monies that were lost as a result of those fake gadgets.
Mr Ameyibor urged dealers in electronic appliances and electrical products to exercise restraint in their attack on the Report and rather see it as a wakeup call to increase public education and industrial surveillance to protect their businesses.
He said in view of the threat posed by counterfeit electrical, the CDA Consult launched the “Avoid Patronage of Counterfeit Electrical Products and Electronic Appliances Campaign” in Ghana last year.
The CDA Consult, in collaboration with the GSA, has embarked on the campaign across the 10 regional capitals and 150 district capitals to expose stakeholders and users to the danger associated with patronizing counterfeit electrical products.
Mr Ameyibor, therefore, called for stakeholders, especially those doing genuine business, to collaborate with the GSA to tackle the issue in a holistic manner to enable them to remain in business.
Giving an overview of the situation in the country, Mr Ameyibor said although there was no statistics to prove the amount of money the country lost annually due to the counterfeiting, the prevalence was high.
“It is therefore necessary to come together as a team to create awareness and work together to reduce the impact.“The public must be aware of the dangers of purchasing counterfeit electrical products by being informed that ‘if you buy counterfeit electrical products, you are buying your own death certificate” he said.
He said other countries had adopted systems to fight this harmful practice and, therefore, the perpetrators were moving to areas where the systems were weak.Mr Joseph Obeng, the President of the Ghana Electrical Dealers Association (GEDA), after a meeting with the CDA Consult Campaign Team, said dealers in fake electrical products and appliances were a major threat and a dent on the image of genuine dealers in the electronic and electrical industry.
He said the Association had resolved to fight against the menace and appealed to dealers, companies and other stakeholders to join in the campaign. Mr Obeng, also the Managing Director of New Lucky Electricals, however, charged CDA Consult to pursue the campaign without antagonising any particular company and commended it for the bold initiative.
He charged regulators to adopt pragmatic systems to police the market and work together with dealers to protect the image of the industry.The CDA Consult campaign focuses on equipping public officials with basic information to recognise electrical counterfeit items at first sight, ensure that officials take stiffer actions against dealers in counterfeit electrical products, and equipping dealers to distinguish fake products from genuine ones.