The Communications for Development and Advocacy (CDA Consult) on Wednesday called on Government to adopt a stiffer punishment against dealers in counterfeit goods especially electrical products in the country.
Mr Francis Ameyibor, Executive Director of CDA Consult stated at a media briefing in Accra that such products were contributing to the rampant fire outbreaks in the country and it was time the dealers were brought to book.
He said the country was gradually becoming a safe haven for marketing counterfeit electrical products, with the business thriving on the blind side of the law enforcement agencies and regulators and called for urgent measures to intensify the sanitization of the market.
Mr Ameyibor said the loss of lives and property arising from the use of counterfeit electrical products and electronic appliances prompted the CDA Consult to embark on a campaign across the regional capitals and selected district capitals to increase awareness on counterfeit goods to save lives and limit their negative effects on the national economy.
He said the sale and use of counterfeit electrical products and electronic appliances impede development, create huge financial loss to investors and the state, adding that, most dealers in such products also evade tax.
Mr Ameyibor said CDA Consult was liaising with the Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Standards Authority, Electrical contractors, end users as well as the media to build a force against the proliferation of counterfeit electrical products and electronic appliances to “direct taste towards genuine electrical products”.
He commended Services Merchandise Limited (SML) and Glamossey Hotel in Sunyani for the commitment and stand against counterfeit electrical and electronic products.
He therefore challenged stakeholders in the electrical product business to take up the fight to weed out counterfeiters from 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 Ameyibor noted.
The CDA Consult Executive Director 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.
The CDA Consult, in collaboration with the GSA, has embarked on the campaign to expose stakeholders and users to the danger associated with patronizing counterfeit electrical products.
“It is 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.
He also 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.