In an exclusive with AYV on Tuesday, 7 July, 2015, James Dumbuya disclosed that the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau has on several occasions urged importers and exporters to always make available samples of proposed imported or exported items to the Standards Bureau for certificate test and inspection before they are allowed for public use and consumption.
According to him, most of these rules and procedures set up by the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau through Parliamentary regulations and instruments appear to have been bypassed or openly flouted by certain unscrupulous importers and exporters rubbing shoulders with the policy makers at the detriment of the entire nation.
He also intimated that, most importers are in the habit of procuring food products overseas, when they are closed to it expiring date, and by the time the products are shipped into the country, cleared at the Queen Elizabeth Quay and supplied to retailers and other business people; they had already become expired and unfit for consumption.
The Executive Director of Sierra Leone Standards Bureau, James Dumbuya pointed out that, the deliberate and continuous flouting of the Standards Bureau set standards by the so called unscrupulous importers and smugglers has created a fertile ground for the rampant sales of expired food products, thereby exposing the lives of Sierra Leoneans and the general public to various diseases and illnesses.
He vowed that, he would leave no stone unturned to crusade with all the relevant agencies and departments to not only hound such wicked and money conscious business people, but also ensure that grave penalties are levied on any defaulter, and that if possible, closure of business houses and institution found wanting.
He observed that, it is obligatory on the line ministries, agencies and departments to put an end to such obnoxious, unhealthy and unpatriotic act, stressing that, his institution is charged with the responsibility of developing standards for food and non food products brought and sold into the country.
He went on to state that, the objective of introducing the standard measurement system in the country is to discourage business people especially importers and exporters from cheating and further engaging in criminal activities to hoodwink or over charge consumers and the public.
“Recently, Standards Bureau stopped a whole ship loaded with food product from discharging at Queen Elizabeth Quay due to its unfit state and contents. And we have been very robust and resolute in that direction. As a national entity we will do our level best to clamp down on those monstrous and wayward business people and institutions across the country,’ Mr Dumbuya maintained.
Commenting on the Food Laboratory Department, James Dumbuya explained that, government has provided advanced laboratory equipment to test samples of all food products imported and exported in order to secure the health and safety of the general public.
He further urged government, international agencies and departments to complement the efforts of government by providing both technical and financial assistance towards equipping the Non Food Department of Sierra Leone Standards Bureau in other to enhance its effectiveness and successful operations.
He enjoined the fourth estate and the civil society organizations to crusade with the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau in its strive towards maintaining standard measurement system and wage war on all wayward and unscrupulous importers and exporters hell bent on demeaning and undermining the credibility of the Bureau.