The Ghana Standard Authority, together with the Police, swooped on some Chinese Nationals and Nigerians manufacturing electrical cables and copper rods without certification, under the protection of some military personnel.
The seven Chinese and Nigerian were picked up at the manufacturing site at Bueko, in Tsopoli, a town in the Greater Accra Region and were handed over to the Police, after GSA had intelligence of their illegality.
Upon reaching the company, Fenice Metals Technology Company Limited, it was discovered that electrical cables of different sizes were produced, labelled as Jupiter Cable Electrique and stored in their warehouse and containers in large quantities.
The team also discovered that all the products had logos of the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) and had the inscription ‘Made in Turkey, China and Nigeria’, suggesting that they had been approved for the Ghanaian market.
To acquire a license as a manufacturer, one would notify the GSA about the manufacturing activities and put in an application for processes and final approval.
The GSA would carry out a test run of production by sampling the products to the lab and this would require payments for the testing and ensuring standards. Also, an inspection report on the factory would be carried out.
Having passed all these requirements, the manufacturer would be notified, approved and issued with a one-year license to put the GSA mark or logo on the products.
The Ghana Standard Authority would periodically carry out market surveillance on the products to ensure that the quality and standard for approval had been maintained.
On the contrary, Directors of Fenice Metals Technology Company Limited had not gone through the processes for approval to secure the license to sell, though they confirmed they had made some sales upon further scrutiny.
The company was built in the last quarter of 2022 and started production of copper rods in January and electrical cables in February 2023.
However, it was revealed that the company put in an application in March and made a payment of GH¢ 23, 100 as Bill for Certification for electrical cables (1.5mm, 2.5mm, 4.0mm, 6.0mm, 10.0mm & 16mm), copper rod, license, processing and inspection fees on March 24.
The company also paid for an Emergency Products Certification for 19 products at the cost of GH¢ 57, 480 on March 29, whilst GH¢ 1,560 was paid for State of Standard on April 13.
In all these payments, a license from the GSA had not been issued to the company, but in March 6, a date preceding the payments, Fenice Metals Technology Company Limited sold 17, 000 tonnes of copper rods to Tropical Metal.
Mr. Ye Song, the Accountant of the company who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), could not state how much was the sales and how much taxes they had paid to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
The Company’s power consumption was cut off from the national grid by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) for bypassing power (power not passing through the meter) during their recent revenue mobilisation exercise.
Mr George Anti, Head of Enforcement, GSA, in an interview with the GNA said: “We are stopping their operations because we cannot let anymore of these products leave this premises. We can’t allow these to be happening in our country particularly when we are moving into the African Free Trade Continental Area AfCFTA.”
He said the GSA would be applying the strictest of sanctions to the company and will be waiting for the outcome of ongoing investigations.
By Patrick Ofoe Nudzi