25 April 2013, Abuja – Inaccurate weights and measurements costs Nigeria financial losses in excess of N755 billion every month, Mr.Olusegun Aganga, the minister of Industry, Trade and Investment has disclosed.
He made the disclosure at the launching of the Legal Metrology web-portal of the Weights and Measures Department of the ministry in Abuja.
Aganga said the amount is the aggregate loss incurred by both government and corporate organisations on a monthly basis due to imprecision of weights and measures in the country.
According to him, the effective implementation of legal metrology would ensure proper inspection, verification and certification of meters and billing systems for electricity, water, hydrocarbon, and telecommunications. He added that it would also result in the establishment of credible and reliable database for oil and gas exports/imports data for proper reconciliation of revenues from oil and gas as required by the pre-shipment Inspection Act.
“The implementation will eliminate the loss of N755.72 billion due to inaccurate measurements at billing points every month by Nigerians. It is widely accepted that the status of a country’s measurement system is a good indicator of its development level. The inauguration of this portal this morning is therefore another major step towards the actualisation of the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.
“The importance of legal metrology in developing nations cannot be over-emphasized, especially as it enhances confidence in domestic trade, protects consumers, strengthens confidence in imported goods and products, and facilitates acceptance of exported goods and products globally.
“In realisation of this, therefore, the federal government came up with the initiative to launch the implementation of the program in Nigeria in line with the provisions of the enabling laws, which are: The Federal Republic of Nigeria Constitution, exclusive list item 65 of 1999; the Weights and Measures Act Cap W3 LFN 2004 and the pre-shipment Inspection of Export Act Cap. P25 LFN 2004. There are other subsidiary legislations in force.
“And in line with international best practice, the weights and measures department of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has been repositioned to effectively supervise and monitor weighing and measuring devices used in trade transactions in all sectors of the Nigerian economy,” he stated.
Alhaji Bashir Zoru, Director, Weights and Measures in the ministry, stressed that Legal Metrology is critical for economic advancement. “This is because it instills confidence in the domestic trade, protects the consumers, as well as confers integrity to imported goods and products, and facilitates acceptance of exported goods and products globally.
Consumers, Traders, Industries, Government regulators and Collectors of taxes and duties make decisions on a daily basis based on measurement, and these affect economic and personal well-being of the society. From a consumer’s perspective, a kilogram of rice must be a kilogram and no less, a motorist needs to trust the volume delivered by a petrol pump, a mobile telephone user must be assured in the knowledge that one minute of airtime must be one minute and no less”
Zoru said the department is recruiting over 200 young Inspectors and the first batch of private companies who will work as Independent Service Providers (ISPs) – providing Calibration, Testing and Verification services to cover the millions of Weighing and Measuring devices used.