NIGERIA COMMITTED TO ESTABLISHING VIRILE NATIONAL MEASUREMENT SYSTEM

Nigerian is fully committed to the establishment of a national measurement system and to develop, strengthen and upgrade the national metrological infrastructure. These would facilitate trade, enhance export, accelerate economic development, protect the environment as well as ensure the health and safety of consumers.

These assertions were made in Abuja by the Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr. Osita Aboloma at the program to celebrate the World Metrology Day in Nigeria.

Represented by Barr. Richard Agu, Director in the DG’s office, the SON Chief Executive stated that the Nigerian government has clearly demonstrated its commitment through huge investment in the construction of a National Metrology Institute structure in Enugu which according to him is nearing completion.

The Institute which is expected to become functional in July 2018 is being developed with technical support from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), he said. It will coordinate the national measurement system and among others;

  • Ensure that accredited testing and calibration laboratories across the country obtain traceability of measurement locally and save the hard currency presently paid to foreign NMIs to procure such services
  • Boost the country’s export base by providing the required confidence and reliability in the exported goods
  • Improve the health of the citizens and ensure safe environment by providing accuracy in measurements
  • Strengthen other components of the national quality infrastructure namely; standardisation, accreditation and conformity assessment.

According to him, the National Metrology Institute will impact positively on Nigeria’s economic spectrum from export of crude and natural gas; sale of petroleum products to citizens; optimal dispensing of fertilizer to enhance food safety and reduce environmental impact to accurate energy meters; accuracy in various fields of measurement including time measurement, among others, he said.

Mr. Aboloma paid tribute to all those who have contributed to the development of metrology in Nigeria, including private calibration laboratories, public and private research institutions, institutions of higher learning, UNIDO and the European Union (EU), the Weights and Measures Department of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Nigerian Manufacturers as well as the Standards Organisation of Nigeria.

He expressed appreciation to UNIDO and the EU for the continued support towards the development of the NMI and acknowledged the receipt of equipment in temperature, pressure and electrical measurements which are awaiting installation at the NMI complex in Enugu.

The SON Chief Executive disclosed that his organisation, as part of efforts to develop metrology further and sensitize the public on the importance of measurement accuracy and traceability, will host the general assembly of the Intra-Africa Metrology System (AFRIMETS) from 16th to 20th July, 2018 in Enugu. The occasion according to him will attract renowned metrologists and metrology experts from around the world.

Mr. Aboloma appealed to development partners to continue to support the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment as well as the SON towards the realization of the National Metrology Institute.

In his welcome address at the occasion, UNIDO Regional Director for Nigeria, Mr. Jean Bakole stated that the theme of the 2018 World Metrology Day celebrations “Constant evolution of the International System of Units (SI)” is predicated on the forthcoming general conference on weights and measures in November 2018 which is expected to agree on one of the latest changes to the international system of units since its inception.

According to him, the SI will be based on a set of definitions, each linked to the laws of physics. This would have the advantage of being able to embrace further improvements in measurement science and technology to meet the needs of future users for many years to come.

Metrology, he said, plays a central role in scientific discovery and innovation, industrial manufacturing and international trade in improving the quality of life and protecting the global environment.

Mr Bakole enumerated the UNIDO involvement in the implementation of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) project for Nigeria with a 12million Euro funding from the European Union. He stated that the project is aimed among others aimed at, supporting the improvement of standards and quality control agencies, in order to advance the quality and competitiveness of products and services from the country.

The UNIDO Chief disclosed that his organisation is working in collaboration with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria to develop a world-class National Metrology Institute (NMI) in Enugu as one of the five major components of the NQI. He alluded to the fact that the simplest transactions in trade and commerce are open to abuse without accurate measurement and traceability which metrology provides.

He however stressed that for the objectives of metrology component of the NQI project to be realized, three major outputs must be completed namely;

  • An established NMI with institutional control, a quality management system and a plan for operational and financial sustainability, all set to meet the demand for calibration in priority fields;
  • A repair and maintenance shop created as a business unit in the NMI that is capable of servicing calibration laboratories and
  • The recognition of the NMI at the regional and international levels; with the availability of calibration laboratories that are accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 for priority fields.

Mr Bakole then enumerated the achievements towards the setting up of the NMI as including;

  • Development of a technical committee for Metrology
  • Development of a business plan for the NMI
  • Analysis of the capabilities of equipment currently available and the requirements for future equipment by the NMI and
  • On-going capacity building of Legal Metrology

The world metrology day is celebrated annually to promote the science of accurate measurements and traceability worldwide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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