Communications for Development and Advocacy (CDA Consult) has called on government to apply stiffer punishment against dealers of 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 are contributing to the rampant fire outbreaks in the country, and it is time for the dealers to be brought to book.
He said the country is gradually becoming a safe haven for marketing counterfeit electrical products, with the business thriving on the blindside of the law enforcement agencies and regulators; hence the call for urgent measures to intensify sanitisation of the market.
Mr. Ameyibor said the loss of lives and property, arising from the use of counterfeit electrical products and electronic appliances, prompted 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 and creates huge financial loss to investors and the state – adding that most dealers in such products also evade tax.
Mr. Ameyibor said CDA Consult is 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 so as to “direct taste toward genuine electrical products”.
He commended Services Merchandise Limited (SML) and Glamossey Hotel in Sunyani for their commitment and stand against counterfeit electrical and electronic products.
He therefore challenged stakeholders in the electrical product business to take up the fight and help weed out counterfeiters from the system to protect the sector’s sanctity.
The proliferation of counterfeit electrical products and electronic appliances is not only dangerous to human lives but also impedes and dents 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 electricals, CDA Consult launched the ‘Avoid Patronage of Counterfeit Electrical Products and Electronic Appliances Campaign’ in Ghana.
CDA Consult, in collaboration with the GSA, embarked on the campaign to expose stakeholders and users to the dangers associated with patronising 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 from 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 have adopted systems to fight this harmful practice, and therefore the perpetrators are moving to areas where systems are weak.
He also charged regulators to adopt pragmatic systems to police the market and work together with dealers to protect the industry’s image.
The CDA Consult campaign focuses on equipping public officials with basic information to recognise electrical counterfeit items at first sight, ensures that officials take stiffer actions against dealers in counterfeit electrical products, and equips dealers to distinguish fake products from genuine ones.