By Abubakarr Salieu Bah.
The newly appointed Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau (SLSB), Professor Thomas Yormah has on Friday 7th September 2018 taken over from Ing. James Saio Dumbuya who has been at the helm for a decade.
The event was attended by the Acting Minister of Trade and Industry, Rev. Abraham Sesay-Jones, the Permanent Secretary, Abdul Rahman Fofana and the Director of Trade, Charles Mere Weather Thompson.
Delivering his farewell speech at the Bureau’s new conference hall, the outgoing Executive Director Ing. James Saio Dumbuya described the event as historic. He gave a historical background of the institution, the achievements/ successes during what he referred to as “difficult moments”* but said “we were able to bring Standards Bureau to where it is today; with the food-micro biology and chemical laboratories, as well as the Petroleum laboratories equipped and in operations.”, adding that as boss through the support of his team, “we were able to roll out the metric system in the Petroleum sector and the institution was on the verge of going metric in the commercial and general trade sector with standardized measuring cups for both solid and liquid”. Mr. Dumbuya spoke about the institution’s memberships in the International Organization for Standardization(ISO), International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML), Africa Organization for Standardization (ARSO) and the African Growth and Opportunity Act*(AGOA) and other affiliate bodies.
He also spoke about the challenges facing the institution such as “lack of political will over the years and decentralization which he said had been seriously affecting the institution. Ing. Dumbuya congratulated his successor and wished him well in office.
Responding, the incoming Executive Director of the Bureau, Professor Thomas Yormah expressed his profound gratitude to President Julius Maada Bio for “reposing confidence” in him to serve. He commended his predecessor for his service and urged the staff to work with him. In my tenure as Director there would be no sacred cows and as a religious person, I would be a God fearing individual by treating everyone as “do on to others as you would want them do on to you.” Professor Yormah also noted that the Bureau had been facing serious criticisms in terms of Publicity and marketing, adding that many people in the country including intellectuals do not know much about the Bureau which he promised to change. He said as a professional he believed in headwork, discipline and “meritocracy”, stressing that ensuring that staff get what they deserve or merit and motivation would be some of his policies. He admonished staff working at the laboratories to maintain professionalism at all times.
The Acting Minister of Trade and industry, Rev. Abraham Sesay-Jones commended the outgoing Director, Mr. Dumbuya for what he referred to as *his remarkable work over the years.” He described Mr. Dumbuya as a Professional and a patriot who worked hard in uplifting the Bureau’s status.
“The world is a stage just like football; a striker or footballer plays well and would be in a position to score a goal and the coach decides to recall him to the bench for another striker”, Rev. Sesay Jones said. He urged staff of the institution to support their new boss, noting that new Direction was poised for service delivery.
The event was climax with a conducted tour to the Bureau’s facilities/laboratories.