By Bester Kayaye
The Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) says it is to complete construction of its K12.4- billion state of the art Complex building in the next 10 months as 96% of the project has already been finished.
MBS CEO Davlin Chikazinga said this when vice President Saulosi Klaus Chilima visited the site after holding a two-day interface meeting with business captains in the private sector and parastatal organisations, and local councils at Mount Soche in Blantyre.
Chokazinga explained that the project was expected to be completed in two years but it faced many setbacks, including failure to import some materials from China due to stiff restrictions set on traveling in the wake of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Now we are determined to complete in the next 10 months, as it stands we have completed almost 96% of project requirements and currently we are waiting for air conditioning tools to arrive from China which have delayed due to Covid-19 travel restrictions,” he said.
Speaking in an interview with Mining and Trade Review Publication after touring the state of the art complex building, Chilima commended the progress of the project saying despite the delay in completion, the project is taking shape with the contractor promising to get it done in the next 10 months.
Chilima explained: “I visited Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) offices to appreciate the progress on the Standardization Quality Assurance and Metrology (SQAM) project that started in 2017.”
“Much as the project has been stalled, am assured that in the next 10 months, construction of the One Stop Centre that among others will see Malawi’s products being accepted on the international market without retesting will have been completed. Our export products will be fully tested locally once construction is completed,” he said
The Vice President said the development will, therefore, help government save on resources spent on getting products and goods tested and certified outside the country.
The state of the art office and laboratories complex will reduce time, forex and the need for the retesting, re-inspection and re-certification of goods from Malawi through Standardization and Quality Assurance.
On the interface meetings, Chilima lauded positive insights gained from both public and private sectors saying they will contribute in making decisions aimed at transforming economic well being of the country’s citizenry.
“The overall idea was to solicit ideas from all key stakeholders and there have been positive indications from both the public and private sectors that we can work together to change the work ethic, rigidity and retrogressive laws so that we move forward as a country,” he said.
Chilima noted that the Private Sector is the engine for economic growth as it has a huge role to play in national development through job creation, provision of critical goods and services and paying taxes that finance investment and government operations.
Executive Director for Institute for Policy Interaction Rafik Hajat hailed the meeting saying it created a portal for private sector players to present their short and long term plans in the national development agendum, and it also created a podium for government to hear out their grievances.
“It has been the first of its kind, considering diversity of agendum tabled, as it included Agriculture, Education, Infrastructure and many other factors for the interest of a common man”.