Ursula Owusu Opens World-Class NCA Equipment Lab

But Fails To Acknowledge Predecessors

The National Communications Authority (NCA)  has commissioned a world-class laboratory that would test all electronic communication equipment manufactured and imported into the country.

The Type Approval Laboratory which is the first of its kind in Africa, will determine the technical requirements of communication equipment by ensuring that no substandard equipment which may present health and safety hazards to users are allowed in Ghana.

This is one of the many innovative ideas of the chairmanship of the Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie NCA board under the supervision of Dr. Edward Omane Boamah during the Mahama administration.

Interestingly, the Akufo-Addo government, has dragged members of the board, including Eugene Baffoe Bonnie, former Director General of the NCA, William Tevie and three others to face trial for causing financial loss to the state.

Speaking at the launch, Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, commended NCA for achieving this milestone, boasting how Ghana will now be able to test and verify imported equipment. She, however, failed to acknowledge the Baffoe Bonnie board for the initiative.

According to her, the era of receiving castoff and e-waste electronic products from other countries without testing will be a thing of the past as equipment will now be tested and verified at the laboratory to detect any harmful radiations thereby preventing the sale of substandard products on our market.

“This is a historic day and it is one of the milestones that the NCA has achieved on its way to becoming one of the world-class regulators that we have on the continent and in the world. We cannot just continue to be the recipients of other people’s castoffs and e-wastes and it is time we also insisted that we treat our own people the way that other civilized countries treat theirs because we are amongst the committee of nations and up there with the best of them”.

NCA under its mandate is to ensure that all electronic communication equipment manufactured or imported into the country for sale or use is in compliance with the law to ensure safety and electromagnetic compatibility.

Stressing on the mandate, Communications Minister said her ministry in collaboration with NCA will make ensure that “all the equipment manufactured or imported into this country is not substandard and that will move us from the realm of guesswork to actually holding importers and manufacturers to the standards specified in the approvals for them to do the work that they are doing”.

The NCA Type Approval Testing Laboratory consists of the following: 1. A Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) lab for measuring the amount of radiations absorbed by the tissue when you using wireless electronic communication equipment such as mobile phones, tablets, wireless routers, walkie-talkie, laptops etc.

2. The lab also consists of the Radio Frequency and Signaling (RFS) lab which is meant for measuring technical requirements necessary for implementing wireless protocols such as wireless land, WCDMA, GSM, Bluetooth and other handover issues.

3. The Electromotive Force lab (EMF) lab will be used for measuring the radiations from telecommunication based stations, television and FM transmission sites.

4. The Digital Terrestrial Television Testing (DTT) lab will test various requirements needed as Ghana gears up for full DTT roll out to enable Ghana migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting.

The Akufo-Addo government put the former board members of trial for alleged fraud and for causing financial loss to the state over the alleged fraudulent US$6 million contract signed between the NCA and Infraloks Development Limited (IDL).

The five are said to have fraudulently withdrawn some four million dollars from NCA accounts without justification.

The government claims that an Israeli company, NSO Group Technology Limited, was contracted to supply the surveillance equipment at the cost of $6 million, to enable National Security monitor conversations of persons believed to be engaged in terrorism.

IDL was also reportedly charging $2 million to facilitate the transaction, bringing the total sum to $8 million.

But the three, through the said contract, allegedly withdrew $4 million from the accounts of the NCA and have failed to account for it.

Only $1 million was allegedly paid into the accounts of the Israeli company.

So far, the NCA’s Director of Legal Affairs is one of the key witnesses to who has made an appearance in court. The five have dismissed the charges and accused the government of being on a political witch-hunting.

 

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