Stakeholders in the Brong Ahafo Region in collaboration with the Communication for Development and Advocacy Consult (CDA Consult) has adopted strategic roadmap to fight against the proliferation of counterfeit electrical products and electronic appliances in the Region.
The Brong Ahafo Anti-Counterfeit Electrical Products and Electronic Appliances Stakeholders has therefore selected 15 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to embarked on massive public advocacy and engagement on the negative impact of counterfeit electrical products and electronic appliances.
The MMDAs are; Berekum, Techiman, Sunyani, Kintampo, Nkoranza, Atebubu, Wenchi, Asunafo North, Jaman North, Bechem, Tano North, Tano South, Goaso, and Asutifi.
The stakeholders include Ghana Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Immigration Service, Custom Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Use Certified Electrician Association, Electrical Contractors Association, media practitioners, educational institutions, banking institutions, and electrical companies.
Others are the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), NEDco, the Regional Coordinating Council, and civil society organisations, will undertake the campaign under the umbrella of CDA Consult and Ghana Standards Authority (GSA).
The Brong Ahafo Anti-Counterfeit Electrical Product and Electrical Appliances stakeholders adopted the roadmap at the end of a three-day workshop organised by CDA Consult in collaboration with GSA and supported from Services Merchandize Limited and New Lucky Electricals Limited.
The stakeholders agreed jointly that it was difficult for any individual entity to fight against proliferation of counterfeit electrical products, hence the need for the joint action to deal with the problem.
Mr Francis Mensah Akpaloo, GSA Technical Supervisor, explained that counterfeit electrical products and electronic appliances were real dangers to safety, business and economy.
He said the counterfeiting industry was overwhelming, but that was no reason to give up and let it continue.
'The steps embarked upon by CDA Consult in collaboration with GSA and other stakeholders are all proven strategies for detecting and deterring economic adulteration.
'We must all join forces with CDA Consult for the implementation of the orchestrated programme to reduce patronage of these counterfeit products,' Mr Akpaloo who is also GSA Standards Officer noted, stressing that the supply chain organization, of course, must be a pivotal player in any such effort.
'That is why it is necessary to shore up strategies and bolster advocacy that have already started through explicitly integrating antifraud approaches into quality programmes, and educating procurement and supply chain personnel to become more sensitive to these increasing threats'.
DO II Richard Sagoe, Brong Ahafo Regional Safety Officer of the Ghana National Fire Service, speaking on the 'Hazards caused by Counterfeit Electrical Products in work places and homes,' said although counterfeit products may appear to be attractive because of lower pricing, they were unsafe to use.
'Counterfeit electrical products can lead to fires, shocks or explosions which can cause injury or even death, therefore we must avoid it,' he said.
DO II Sagoe said most electrical fires started from the Meter (sub-standard electric cable, so many meters at a place with poor wiring), Sockets (Overloading of counterfeit products), Ignition of wires (Arcing, inferior cables), Bulb explosion (counterfeit bulb/lamp holders) and loose connection/poor contacts, leading to high temperature and sparks.
Overheating per say, might not always cause fire because when circuit breakers were working properly, it will shut down the system or fuse will eventually blown, however, if combustibles were close by, the risk of fire was high.
Mr Vijay P. Gokaldas, Electrical Product Authentication Expert, on his part explained that the greatest obstacles to the fight against proliferation of counterfeit electrical products, was the ability of ordinary citizens and at times public officials to detect fake products from genuine ones.
Mr Gokaldas who is also the Managing Director of Service Merchandize Limited (SML), which is a pro-active dealer providing quality electrical equipment, clubbed with top-notch service to both industrial and commercial projects, considers the campaign as timely.
He said 'We must all work together to kill counterfeit electrical products or it will kill us…we must join forces to deal with the problem and as the proliferation of counterfeit electrical product is a threat to all'.
Mr Francis Ameyibor, CDA Consult Executive Director, 'CDA Consult is creating the platform and would build the necessary forces against the proliferation of counterfeit electrical products.
'We are focusing on raising awareness among the public regarding counterfeiting'.
Mr Ameyibor called on the Electrical Dealers, Manufacturers and Dealers in Electrical Products to join the crusade/campaign…contact us through: [email protected].
He said the national crusade/campaign against the proliferation and use of counterfeit electrical products would cover the ten regional capitals and 150 district capitals; it aims at discouraging the patronage of counterfeit electrical products and to direct taste towards genuine electrical products.