According to Frank Martin, importers of iron rods should abide by laid down rules so that the quality of the product in the market would not decline. He added that this engagement would also help importers to know the kind of standard of iron rods they ship into the country in order to avoid bringing sub-standard iron rods.
Mr. Mickail Nickson Turay, who represented the Ministry of Trade and Industry said that the Ministry of Trade and Industry is gratified over the role of the Standards Bureau for bringing iron rod importers together to talk about what is expected of them. He mentioned that everybody is connected with iron rods one way or the other. He added that it has been noticed that the length of the iron rod is shorter nowadays and consumers are grumbling about this. Speaking at the engagement, Professor Thomas B.R. Yormah who is the Executive Director for Sierra Leone Standards Bureau outlined the role of the Standards Bureau, citing that it was a creation of Parliament in 1996. He mentioned that their role is to protect human health, protect the environment, protect the economy, and monitor and control the impact arising from the dumping of sub-standard products while ensuring fairness in trade.
“For some time now, people have been crying over sub-standard iron rods sold in the market and as a result of this, we deemed it fit to bring together importers of iron rods to see how this trend can be changed so that only quality iron rods will be sold on the market,” Prof. Yormah told his audience.
He further stated that the dialogue is a way of finding a lasting solution to the numerous challenges iron rod importers face, stressing that they are working on a scale to measure the quality of iron rods imported into the country.
Manager of Standards Bureau, Mr. Abdul Aziz Kamara in his presentation said the Standards Bureau document established uniform engineering or technical specifications, criteria, methods, processes and practices. He added that standardization is the process of developing and agreeing upon technical standards, adding that standards ensure improved quality and reliability and create a competitive advantage.
He said each store should have a scale/measuring rod that would measure the weight and length of iron rods.
Mohamed Ansari who is an importer of iron rods said 10.5, 15. 5 millimeter, 9.7 millimeter, 11.5 millimeter, 11 millimeter, 4.4 millimeter are the standard iron rod measurements.