Counterfeit electrical products has been tagged as death warranty, which must be avoided for the protection of life and property, Mr Vijay P. Gokaldas, Electrical Product Authentication Expert stated in Accra on Monday.
He has therefore urged the public to deal with accredited companies and not to take the authenticity of electrical products for granted, “Actively seek information and education about any electrical product you intend purchasing, as it helps in avoiding counterfeit products”.
Mr Gokaldas who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Services Merchandize Limited (SML) told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra after a collaborative meeting with the Communication for Development and Advocacy Consult (CDA Consult) on modalities for raising the tempo of the anti-counterfeit electrical product campaign across the country.
The CDA Consult has embarked on a nationwide anti-counterfeit electrical product campaign on the general theme: “Avoid Patronage of Counterfeit Electrical Products”.
The first phase of the campaign is covering the ten Regional Capitals and 150 out of the 216 District Capitals over a period of three years.
Mr Gokaldas said 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 explaining that the proliferation of counterfeit electrical product is a threat to the Ghanaian economy.
The SML CEO noted that everyone involved in the electrical sector – from consumer to manufacturer – has a role to play in protecting and preventing fake electrical products from entering into the legitimate supply chains.
Mr Gokaldas pledged to support and collaborate with the CDA Consult campaign, which is providing a proactive platform for manufacturers, distributors, importers, installers, contractors, law enforcement, and governmental bodies to join forces to fight against the proliferation of the counterfeit electrical products.
He called on electrical contractors, electricians, retailers, distributors and dealers in all types of electrical products to comply with safety requirements and join stakeholders to deal with product counterfeiting which is a serious issue.
The CEO of SML which is the main distributors of Havells, Saachi Electric and Crompton Greaves established in 1989 in Ghana, also cautioned the public – especially procurement officers to be vigilant as counterfeiters intentionally mislead the public and everyone along the supply chain.
Mr Gokaldas noted: “counterfeiters do not go to the expense of having products tested and verified by an approved third-party testing laboratory designated at a nationally recognized testing laboratory”.
Mr Francis Ameyibor, CDA Consult Executive Director commended SML and Mr Gokaldas for stepping out to join the anti-counterfeit electrical products campaign which is a strong attestation of the company’s abhorrence to fake electrical products.
He urged other companies and stakeholders to step out and join the campaign to counter the efforts of fake electrical counterfeit products dealers stressing that sitting, on the sidelines is not an option in the fight against counterfeit electrical products, “all of us in all in one-way maybe affected by counterfeit electrical products”.
Mr Ameyibor therefore called for greater stakeholder involvement in the National Campaign embarked on and encouraged stakeholders who seek to join the crusade to contact CDA Consult through email: [email protected]; stressing that the issues of counterfeiting of electrical products, which have the potential to affect our health and safety, should be of concern to everyone.
The next in a series of nationwide public education initiative is slated for April 12 to 14 at Sunyani, Brong Ahafo Regional Capital.
Mr Ameyibor explained noted: “we must team up as stakeholders to eliminate electrical counterfeiting at its source, and also prevent its proliferation into ever-expanding markets, in the country.”
The CDA Consult Executive Director also explained that under the initiative, stakeholders would be assisted to identify counterfeit electrical products on the market, expose to the dangers associated with patronage of counterfeit electrical products and create a platform for security operatives to enforce laws against the sale of counterfeit products in the country.
The Anti-counterfeiting educational crusade being undertaking by CDA Consult also seeks to help professionals understand the dangers associated with counterfeit electrical products.
CDA Consult is also collaborating with institutions, including the Ghana Standards Authority, Ghana National Fire Service, Electrical Contractors, Electrical Manufacturers, Electrical Shop Owners, end users, contractors, security agencies, and the media in the crusade against the proliferation of counterfeit electric products in the country.
The crusade would also focus on equipping public officials with basic information to determine and identify electrical counterfeit items at first sight.
Mr Ameyibor said the Sunyani workshop also seeks to raise awareness on the threats posed by counterfeit electrical products, and engage industry leaders and government officials on the dangers of counterfeiting.
He explained that it is important to create a collaborative platform among stakeholders – businesses, governments and law enforcement agencies to holistically deal with the emerging problem.