16 January 2014, Abuja -The Director of Weights and Measures in the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Oluyinka Joseph Sikuade has said that the full implementation of the Weights and Measures Act on the measuring instruments utilized in the oil and gas sector of the economy will start on February 1, 2014.
He stated this recently in a technical meeting between the Ministry and officials of NNL, who are consultants to the Ministry on Weights and Measures as well as the operators of the Oil Producing Trade Section (OPTS) of the Ministry in Abuja.
Oluyinka Joseph Sikuade noted that this year has been dedicated as the year for the implementation of the legal metrology services in the oil and gas sector to enable stakeholders conform their activities to Section 7(2) and 30(b) of the Weights and Measures Regulation 25, Vol. 99 of 16th April, 2012.
“We are going to look at the metering system of the operators for accuracy, equity, fairness and conformity. We will take into consideration internationally acceptable error margins to bring fairness and justice to the trading devices in use by operators.”
According to him, the constitution requires the Ministry’s Weights and Measures Department to be the custodian of the national primary standards to which other standards in Nigeria must be traced to. He explained that the Ministry has the expertise that would enable the sector perform its statutory duty efficiently as the sector is very vital to the Nigerian economy. Adding, the measuring instrument used for trade in this sector must be within the maximum permissible error margin which the law recognizes.
He said: henceforth calibrators and testing laboratories in Nigeria must first obtain certificates from the Weights and Measures Department before the calibration certificates issued by them would be recognized.
Joseph Sikuade stated that the interest of OPTS is paramount to government and urged them to strictly patronised only those calibrators who have obtained the Department’s certification for the calibration of their instruments.
The Director further inferred that all the instruments used in Nigeria are subjected to control by the Department, noting that the Department’s activity conforms to international best practices. He urged them to cooperate with the Department to make things easier for both parties. He added that cooperation and collaboration from operators will make the Department function and have a stress free implementation process.
In his presentation, the consultant to the Ministry on Weights and Measures, Yusuf Yabagi Sani mentioned that the levels of legal metrology controls to be implemented as the measuring instruments in trade comprise: registration, conformity assessment (pattern approval), verification and inspection as well as calibration and testing certification.
Yusuf Sani posited that the records of transaction will be maintained on the www.wmdnigeria.com web portal by the Department and appropriate certificates will be issued to devices owners. He further stressed that the control requirements are purposed to provide a reliable database of instruments utilized for trade; ascertaining the integrity and fitness of instruments for use; maintenance of instrument accuracy and consistency as well as traceability of instruments utilized for trade transactions.
In their contributions, the operators of Oil Producing Trade Section (OPTS) urged the Department to provide checklists, templates and frequencies for their calibration instruments and as well as the list of the companies approved to provide calibration services to enable them comply with the guidelines.
Officers of the Ministry who were present at the meeting include: the Director of the Weights and Measures Department, Oluyinka J. Sikuad; the Director of Legal Services, Uju Hassan Baba; the Director of Commodities and Products Inspectorate, Joseph Apanisile. Others were: Yusuf Sani, M. S. Sidi, Rufai M.A and Adeniyi T.A.
The operators of the Oil Producing Trade Section (OPTS) were represented by Kolade Green and Tamuno Tonye Iyemo, Exxon Mobil, Udoh Juliet and Chigbreen Ugrenuawu, NAOC, Michael Ezeh Conol Phillips, Rick Hibbert and Franklyn Ogoleh, SHELL, Augustus Famos Chevron, Kah Chioba and Ayanlowo Olukayode