Mr Sanjeev Mohan, Assistant General Manager, Havells India Limited on Tuesday indicated that one of the ways Ghana can clamp down on the activities of counterfeit electrical dealers is through strong leadership from the government.
He said the government held power and could take actions against those individuals, hence should join the campaign in the fight against counterfeiters.
Mr Mohan was speaking at a workshop organized by Havells, producers of electrical wires in collaboration with Service Merchandise Limited (SML), the Ghana Energy Commission, and Communication for Development and Advocacy (CDA Consult) in Accra.
The workshop was to introduce authentic electrical products to electricians to enable them differentiate between fake and original electrical materials.
It was also for electricians to network with their suppliers and inform them about new products on the market.
Mr Mohan indicated that Ghana was a fast-growing economy and as such people would want to engage in business activities.
He said the country’s connection with other neighbouring countries gave it a wider market, which creates more opportunities for people to trade; hence room should not be created for people to produce counterfeit materials.
He stated that his outfit had received lots of complaints about counterfeiters and have taken legal actions against some, with the belief that more could be achieved if the government was involved.
The Assistant Manager opined that organization like Havells had limited power when it came to dealing with criminals, hence the need for strong support from the government and its related agencies.
“Havells has very limited role to play. Ours is to report to the authorities for the necessary action to be taken and it’s the authorities who take the action, so that’s why it’s would be very helpful if we get a strong government backing,” he said.
He said the organization has created awareness and would continue to create awareness through their campaign strategies such as the dealer signages, product launch, and media advertisement to caution people about counterfeiters, but would want the government to also add his voice to it.
Nana Ama Osei Appiah, a representative from the Energy Commission, indicated that the Commission was doing its best to weed out counterfeiters in the industry.
She said the type of fake materials used in wiring could cause harm to lives and properties, hence the Commission had put measures in place to ensure that electricians used original materials in their day to day activities.
One of such ways was to partner companies such as Havells to educate customers on the different forms of materials that could be used in wiring and other electrical jobs, she said.
“The other measures that we have put in place were the certification of electricians and the sanctioning of uncertified electricians,” she said.
Certifying an electrician was very important because it goes a long way to help weed out the uncertified ones, which intended to solve the issue of using counterfeit materials due to ignorance and lack of education, she observed
Nana Ama Appiah stated that about 7,000 electricians have been certified and others were yet to be.
She called on Ghanaian to join the fight against counterfeiters by employing the services of certified electricians when the need arose.
Mr Vijay P. Gokaldas, Electrical Product Authentication Expert, 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 SML Chief Executive Officer, said SML, which is a pro-active dealer providing quality electrical equipment clubbed with top-notch service to both industrial and commercial projects considered the campaign as timely explaining that the proliferation of counterfeit electrical product was a threat to the Ghanaian economy.
The SML CEO noted that everyone involved in the electrical sector - from consumer to manufacturer - had 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 was 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.
Mr Francis Ameyibor, CDA Consult Executive Director called for greater stakeholder involvement in the National Campaign embarked on and encouraged stakeholders who sought to join the crusade to contact CDA Consult through email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
He stressed that the issues of counterfeiting of electrical products, which have the potential to affect our health and safety, should be of concern to everyone.
Mr Ameyibor 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”.