Gov’t fails to fund National Bureau of Standards

Kuol Athian Mawien National Minister of Trade and Industry speaking at SSNBS HQs in Juba (Photo by Matia Samuel Timatio)

By Matia Samuel Timatio

The South Sudan national Minister of Trade and Industry said Government has failed to fund South Sudan National Bureau of Standards (SSNBS) saying the Bureau lacks budget to buy equipment for testing goods entering the Country.

The Trade Minister made the remarks during his official working visit to the SSNBS headquarters in Juba on Thursday.

Speaking during the visit, Kual Hoth Mai said the budget of SSNBS is unable to buy equipment for testing the goods being imported at the borders of South Sudan where goods coming in or going outside are to be checked.

He stated that there are even no funds to make an agreement with trade mark companies for the products of the Country to be standardized to go into the world.

He said goods coming from the neighboring countries must have been checked by the Bureau of Standards but they lack the capacity and machineries to do perfect job.

“The first thing is the Ministry of Trade should check those goods, the second is Bureau of Standards to check them, are they safe for human life or not before the custom comes in but it is not the case, its custom which takes over the responsibility and we are being blamed that the Ministry is not paying attention to what is coming to South Sudan,” he said.

“We know very well, expired goods are coming to South Sudan but it is true somebody is smuggling them at the borders,” he shockingly revealed.

The minster noted that the country has resources and taxes which are supposed to be collected to pay the employees but some people are benefiting from them through smuggling of the products outside.

“If we are government that is a Country, we want to see that our civil servants, organized forces are supposed to be well paid, to be given incentives so that they carry their duties because they are the ones doing all work but we are going to address them.”

“We have failed to increase your capacity but right from today we are going to address them,” The Trade Minister promised the SSNBS workers.

Meanwhile Mary Gordon Muortat, SSNBS Chief Executive Office or CEO called on the government to back up the bureau since they have signed MOU with countries such as Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan and Malawi saying the government is planning to export goods from Malawi which they are to determine the quality of the goods.

She said the government needs to pay special attention to the Bureau of Standards because it is the life of South Sudanese and building materials being imported must be checked.

“We are putting our lives in danger because things which are to be done by the government of South Sudan are not done. So the Bureau of Standards is very important in terms of creating competitiveness in the area of trade, we have to make sure our trade is competitive in the area,” Mary emphasized.

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