NIGERIA: FG Seeks National Policy on Weights and Measures

The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Dauda Kigbu, has called on Inspectors of Weights and Measures to come up with a new national policy.

Kigbu made the call while he declared the second quarterly Assembly of Inspectors of Weights and Measures opened at the Headquarters of the Ministry in Abuja.

The Permanent Secretary informed delegates to the Assembly that they were expected to produce a draft National Policy on Weights and Measures reminding them to bear in mind the imperative of accurate and reliable measurement in trade, which was increasing due to rapid technological development and the emergence of information-based societies.

He noted that increasingly, consumers must make decisions everyday based on measurement results, which affect their economic and personal well-being. This, according to him, makes a national weights and measures policy, which is based on credible measurement as well as traceability of all measurement standards pertinent.

According to Kigbu, the nation’s national policy must also seek to support a national legal metrology system that consistently promotes professionalism, technical competence and strives to improve the quality of services.

He stressed the need for proper cooperation and co-ordination among various stakeholders in the industry to foster a successful National Metrology system.

“As this assembly begins today, you will do well to remember that the task before you is a grave and sensitive one. You are expected to produce the first draft of the national policy on weights and measures which will serve as a foundation for further input by other stakeholders in the process. The nation is watching you with keen interest in the hope that you will apply yourselves and work hard to ensure a successful conference”, Kigbu stressed.

The Permanent Secretary reminded them that as professionals operating at the grassroots levels, they were the ones that constantly face the challenges and address the prospects of weights and measures in Nigeria. To this end, it was fit and proper for them to rally now and discuss issues relating to the formulation of policy, enforcement of the laws, as well as the effective mobilisation and enlightenment of our teeming populace.

In his address, Directors, Weights and Measures, Alhaji Bashir Zoro, expressed disappointment that a sector, which has a strategic bearing on the nation’s economy as weights and measures was, had no articulated national policy to speak of.

He pointed out that without a well developed and planned application of legal metrology there cannot possible be proper exchanges of goods and services, regulation of the production process or the creation of a vibrant national economy. According to him, a national framework for the establishment of an accurate fair and legal standard in all areas of trade is therefore a national priority.

Earlier, the Chairman of Nigerco Ltd NNL, Mr. Sani Yabagi Yussuf, who is also a consultant to the Ministry had said the assembly of Weights and Measures Inspector for a draft national policy was indeed an historic occasion to reposition the sector and to seek for the cooperation of the field inspectors toward the professionalisation of the department as a functional sector of the economy.

In his words, “there is a focus to make the department professional, to be functional and useful to the society. Legal Metrology as we all know is at the corner stone of any economy to grow, to be able to protect the nation and ensure that this country is respected at the international level. You cannot have standards unless you have a working measurement input, accurate and fair”.

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