The President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Dr. Joseph Obeng has urged the Ghana Energy Commission reconsider its plans to ban the importation of second-hand appliances into the country.
According to him instead the Commission should engage stakeholders on the best ways to handle the issue because the ban if implemented would bring untold hardship to traders within that space.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the host of Plan-B FM’s current affairs show, ‘Ebaanosen’, Dr Obeng remarked that the best way to deal with the issue is for the Energy Commission to set standard and regulate importation of the slightly used appliances rather than banning its importation.
He told listeners of the radio station that there a lot of traders within that space who get these second-hand appliances as well as other goods from different sources and in turn sell them to Ghanaian consumers. A ban on importation of these appliances, Dr Obeng noted would keep them out earning their livelihood.
“We have more than a hundred thousand traders here in Ghana who deal in these second-hand appliances and other slightly used goods that ranges on varieties of items from different parts of the world. We equally have other Ghanaians based abroad who also through other relations deal in these same items. You can imagine the number of people you are making jobless if the Commission goes ahead to implement its band”, Dr Obeng remarked.
Speaking on the alleged substandard of goods being the reason behind the planned ban, the GUTA President noted that it is not entirely true that all second-hand appliances are substandard and added that the same level of energy consumed by some of these appliances are what brand new appliances also consume and describe that as baseless.
He stated that there had been an earlier meeting by some members of GUTA and the Energy Commissionto try and iron out the issues regarding the ban on the importation. He further added that a few of the meetings should be held with a view to settling on some standards and modalities on some regulations to ensure that appliances imported conform to the requirement of the Commission.
“So yes we are calling on the Energy Commission to reconsider their stance on this matter. We believe that the importation of the second-hand appliances should come with some form of standards and regulation and not a total ban”, Dr Obeng told Ohene Kinnah, the host of the show.
The Ghana Energy Commission sometime ago warned electric consumers against the use of second-hand household appliances. According to the Commission, second-hand appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners have the tendencies to consume more energy than expected.
The Commission noted that the use of brandnewappliances would help save energy and money hence its call on Ghanaians to desist from patronizing second-hand appliances.
The Commission concluded by urging Ghanaians to look out for the Commission’s yellow label when purchasing new electrical appliances.