IN a bid to ensure that consumers are protected from the patronage of substandard products, the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) says it will soon be dispatching some 220 standards officers across all markets in the country, thanks to a partnership between the GSA and the United Kingdom (UK) government.
Director-General of the Authority, Prof Alex Dodoo told journalists in Accra that “for the first time in the history of the Association, we have formed a task force called trading standards officers who are being trained by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute of the UK.
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute is a professional association which represents and trains trading standards professionals working in local authorities, business and consumer sectors and in central government in the UK and overseas.
The increasing levels of substandard products on the Ghanaian market, including electrical cables has forced the GSA to reinforce its routine engagement with dealers in the various products while taking steps to equip its own officers to enforce the law on product manufacturing standards.
Prof Dodoo said the officers will be enforcing compliance with the dictates of the new Act. He admitted that the numbers were not enough to cover all districts but “it’s a start; we are hoping that as they pick up problems from the markets; as we apply fines Ghana will be known as the country where we manufacture and sell quality products.”
“What all Ghanaians need to be aware of is that Ghana is hosting the AfCFTA so we are the capital of trade for the African continent which means we have a job to keep our markets clean,” the Director-General stated.
The GSA had organised a meeting with dealers in electrical cables to bring them up to speed with the standards required in the importation and manufacturing of electrical cables.
Prof Alex Dodoo was pleasantly satisfied that the dealers themselves had agreed with the regulator that laws be enforced to the later, especially the new standards Act (ACT 1078).
The local manufacturers offered to provide branded products for importers as a way of moving people from imports to patronising locally made goods.
“Our worry has been that there are people in this country who are illegally producing all types of products including electrical cables and then branding the products as imported products and giving genuine importers a bad name and spoiling the market,” the GSA boss lamented.