Graphic Business News

GSA market clean-up boosts local cable trade

By: kester Aburam Korankye
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 Prof. Alex Dodoo (left), Director General of GSA, showing the Parliametary Select Committee on Trade and Industry some fake cables during a tour
Prof. Alex Dodoo (left), Director General of GSA, showing the Parliametary Select Committee on Trade and Industry some fake cables during a tour

LEADING local cable manufacturer, Tropical Cable and Conductors Limited, has said it recorded a 20 per cent surge in sales following the clamp down on fake cables in the market by the Ghana Standards Authority’s (GSA) last year.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Mr Tony Oteng-Gyasi, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS in an interview that the increase in the company’s sales value in the last quarter of 2018 reflected the significant impact of the GSA’s clean-up exercise. 

“In our last quarter, we recorded some 20 per cent growth of sales value which looks like a significant impact of the (GSA) exercise,” he said. 

The clean-up
The GSA market clean-up which started in late 2017, focused on market surveillance and testing cables for quality and standards.

Laboratory results of sampled cable brands revealed that several importers were flooding the market with inferior products that did not meet critical safety requirements.

Of the 22 brands that were sampled for laboratory testing, only two, which were manufactured locally, passed the critical safety requirement test for conductor resistance.

The results from the surveillance prompted the GSA to embark on raids targeted at imported brands that did not meet critical safety requirements to rid the market of such products and arrest importers of the products.  

Beef up
To consolidate the gains already made by the clean-up which saw the GSA confiscating large quantities of fake cables both at the Tema Port and from warehouses in Accra, Mr Oteng-Gyasi encouraged the standards enforcement agency not to abandon the exercise but rather increase its momentum.

“We would caution that this should not be a nine-day wonder and we need to ensure that the exercise continues on all fronts”, he said.

Economic gains
Should the clean-up continue, Mr Oteng-Gyasi said the company had planned to employ 15 more workers, including three engineers to reduce the high rate of unemployment in the country.

“We are increasing employment if we see that this thing is sustained, that is the real effect, it helps us to provide jobs for the youth because manufacturing produces more jobs than distribution, “he said

Mr Oteng-Gyasi also encouraged the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to ensure that importers of cables paid the right duties as some  under value their products at the port to escape the right duty.

That, he said, had resulted in the GRA’s inability to realise its annual revenue targets.

“If you look at last year’s figures, customs did not achieve their targeted revenue and it is because a lot of the time even when they bring in cables with the right standards, they under value it,” he explained.

To equip Customs with the requisite knowledge on using international pricing benchmark to value imported cables, he said local manufacturers were prepared to fund such training.

Destruction
Meanwhile, unlike before when seized cables were confined to state-bonded warehouses for long periods of time, the standards enforcement agency, as part of its zero tolerance for substandard products this year, would destroy such inferior product immediately they are seized.

The Director of Corporate Communications of GSA, Dr Kofi Amponsah-Bediako, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS that the swift destruction of inferior products would serve as  “high disincentive for anybody who wants to indulge in such trade.”

He explained that since all stakeholders agreed that substandard products were unacceptable, “we can go ahead and destroy them.”
Reacting to GSA’s resolve to destroy such inferior products, Mr Oteng-Gyasi said that was the right thing to do to “because when they leave it there, after sometime, to get their import duty, customs will auction it off”.

“There has been talk about destroying it over and over again but we have never actually seen them getting destroyed and if they can’t destroy it, then they should take it back to the country of origin,” he said.