Ato Forson Fights Govt Over Old Fridges Ban

Ato Forson


Newly appointed Minority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson stoked a controversy yesterday after posting a tweet to denigrate and court disaffection for the government over a public notice on the enactment of new laws to regulate the markets for electrical appliances and renewable energy products.

The Energy Commission had issued the notice to inform the public about the passage of a total of 19 Regulations by Parliament last year, which Regulations provide for a transitional period of one year for the market to adjust, to ensure smooth implementation.

The new Minority Leader, bumbling over with excitement to please his appointing authority, jumped on the social media platform to politicise the announcement, claiming that the government has banned the importation of used electrical appliances such as TV sets, computers, fridges among others.

He wrote, “This is insensitive!” before attaching a list of 20 items contained in the Schedule of Regulations 1, 2 and 7 which includes air conditioner, comfort fan, computer, distribution transformer, electric kettle, electric motor, incandescent lamp, industrial fan, and inverter.

The rest are television sets, refrigerating appliances, microwave oven, monitor, metal halide lamp, rice cooker, washing machines, water heater, ventilating fan, solar panel, and set-top box.


But what was intended to court disaffection for the government turned out negative for him, as he faced backlash from users of Twitter who accused him of dabbling in politicisation of a national issue that is meant to prevent Ghana from becoming a desirable dumping destination for both substandard and used appliances.

Some others also accused him of using his new position to spread disinformation about the public notice by claiming that the government has banned the used electrical appliances, when that is not the case.


One user wrote, “Dis [this] is all you know, no wonder at de [the] mention of your name as a leader for NDC in plmt [Parliament] der [there] is chaos in your party, you want Ghana to be a dumping place for useless gadgets right, Ghana will not be a dumping place for useless gadgets.”

Another person also wrote, “I can’t believe that in 2023 the most prominent opposition parties [party’s] parliamentary leader in Ghana is working this hard to politicise a ban on USED rice cookers. Who did we offend on this continent?”

“Ato, you should stay away from over politicisation of national issues. You don’t need to subject yourself to public ridicule in the name of politics. What’s insensitive about banning used products that are dumped on us? Every government must ban the importation of such used items,” another user retorted.


The new Regulations came into force on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 after the passage by Parliament, having been worked upon by the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation chaired by the NDC MP for Bolgatanga East, Dr. Dominic Akuritinga Ayine.

The laws are meant to protect the environment and safeguard the health of the citizens from air pollution caused by increased power generation, as well as to protect the consumer from purchasing unsuitable appliances and the payment of unnecessarily high electricity bills, among others.

NDC Statement

As if that was not enough, the new Minority Leader again caused his Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee, John Abdulai Jinapor, to issue a statement on the matter, demanding from the government to withdraw the plan.

“The decision by the Government, acting through the Energy Commission, to ban the importation of all used electrical appliances into the country is most unfortunate and must be reviewed immediately,” the statement said.

According to the statement, “This policy if not reviewed, will not only render a vast majority of those who trade in these appliances unemployed, but would equally have severe economic consequences on the already impoverished Ghanaian consumer, since most depend largely on these appliances.”

“The way and manner in which the Legislative Instrument (LI) was rushed through Parliament without adequate consultation and extensive engagement with the various stakeholders was most unfortunate and appalling,” the statement added.

By Ernest Kofi Adu