Flush out substandard electrical products
For the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) to identify more than 6,000 substandard and inferior electrical products currently on the country’s market means it has not abandoned its efforts in ensuring the right standard of goods.
The GSA efforts are commendable because we know the Authority is always alert to intercept goods that have serious health, safety and environmental implications on the consuming public.
These goods, generally referred to as high risk goods, include electrical products because of their possible negative effects on the safety of humans and the environment such as when cables catch fire and burn humans and structures.
Over the years, the GSA has been combing the market to flush out substandard electrical products.
In 2017 for instance, the GSA went to town and realised that more than 70 per cent of all imported electrical cable brands on the market were substandard and could cause fires and so put in efforts to check that.
However, in the following year, it found that 92 per cent of electrical cables on the market were substandard.
Meanwhile, the GSA has the Electro Vigilance Market Surveillance to check the proliferation of substandard electrical products on the market.
The surveillance initiative is touted to have helped in reducing the flooding of the market with substandard electrical products and it is good to hear this.
However, once the menace has not been eradicated means that there are certain factors that encourage traders to smuggle in substandard products or push manufacturers to produce substandard cables and other products locally.
Once business people are first and foremost motivated by the desire to make more profit, they would always seek ways, usually bad ones, to maximise profit.
Therefore, the GSA should do constant review of the situation and at short intervals to find ways to act ahead of the smugglers or the local manufacturers producing inferior products.
Definitely, the collaboration it is calling for is right and the collaborators must be educated well to know what to look for to be sure certain electrical cables are fake or inferior and where to go to lodge such complaints.
Then there must be ways to ensure the safety of those collaborators because some business people would not forgive those who would expose them.
Even when all is done, the question of whether its collaborators would act in the public interest is something for reflection.
This is to say that the *onerous is on the GSA itself to do the best it can to prove its mettle.
The GSA should find a way to educate the public about the 21 registered brands of electrical wires it has sanctioned or certified and update its records when need be.
Fortunately, the GSA says its new Legislative Instrument (LI)empowers it to ensure offenders are punished.
Do the offenders include collaborators who tend to rather aid smugglers and other perpetrators?
If not, then the GSA should seek another LI to ensure that as it can add to the deterrence from the existing LI.