The Weights and Measures Bill, which is presently in Parliament for discussions has been taken to the Legislative Committee for further scrutiny and deliberations.
The bill, as drafted by Sierra Leone Standards Bureau, was explained by the Minister of Trade and Industry, David Carew with regards its importance to the advancement of the business community of Sierra Leone. The Minister explained that the bill intends to modify the Weights and Measures Act of 1961 imperial Unit and adopts the universally accepted metric system. He said that the bill when enacted will empower the Standards Bureau on monitoring effort in the market, to minimize if not eradicate cheating in measurement of goods and services “ this will further contribute in alleviating the suffering of majority of the population” he added.
He also disclosed that ECOWAS is about to standardize the system to suit the entire West Africa sub region in measurement scale.
“This will enable us get the correct measurement of food stuffs and other commodities, since measurement terminologies like pound and mile have been mostly replaced with kilometers (k/m) and kilograms (kg) with which many people are conversant”, he said.
The international system of unit as proposed by Members of Parliament who participated in the deliberation is a good idea which should be complemented by sensitization in the respective constituencies in the country. This is because most people especially in the provinces are used to pound, bushels, and mile with related terms in measurement. They need to know the implementation of the metric system and its advantages to the growth of the market. “Sierra Leone should not lag behind in this kind of global development” the MPs echoed.
Upon the passage of the bill, officials of the Standards Bureau as pointed out by the Minister have put regulatory mechanisms in place to check units of measurement in business communities to ensure nobody undermines the effort, when once the bill is passed into law.
By Poindexter Sama