Eng. Dr. Ben Manyindo, who at the start of November retired from the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), as executive director, called for restructuring of the standards watchdog in his farewell speech.
According to Dr. Manyindo, who had worked with UNBS for twenty-two years, the changes will help the agency align its activities with national development activities.
“Internally within UNBS, a lot of innovations leveraging on staff competences and talent, digital platforms and technology need to be deepened and fast-tracked to ensure that service delivery processes and procedures continue to be simplified, and made faster and better,” he said.
“The restructuring of the organization to align it with the National Development Plan III, private sector demands and consumer protection is an exercise that needs to be prioritized and concluded. The embedding of Risk management and compliance in all the Bureau processes as well as international accreditation of all its services must be prioritized and resourced to keep the institution among the top ten agencies of government.”
David Livingstone Ebiru, who had been a deputy executive director, was appointed to serve as the executive director until Dr. Ben Manyindo’s replacement is found.
Dr. Ben Manyindo joined UNBS in 1998 as deputy executive director in charge of Technical Operations. He became the bureau’s executive director in 2012.
Read his full farewell speech below:
Dear UNBS staff and stakeholders,
Allow me to share some thoughts at end of my tour of duty at UNBS.
The 22 years journey has been worth the travel and traveling the journey together made us reach thus far in 2020.
Ebenezer (thus far the gracious God Almighty has brought us).
Many successes registered and milestones reached, a number of lessons learnt but there were also some disappointments. We persevered, worked hard and remained focused on the vision.
UNBS being a unique institution has a wide mandate that touches the quality of life of all people.
It is the only government institution that administers two acts of Parliament, namely the Standards Act and the Weights & Measures Act. Ideally, it is two institutions in one.
Further to this, the work done at UNBS is not learnt from any academic training institution, it is an on job training and that excites and challenges many staff that want to develop a career in Standardization and Metrology (science of measurement).
I hope with time (resources permitting), the academic institutions will develop interest and train our young people in the fields of standardization.
The UNBS vision and mission underpinned by it’s core values must not be lost in UNBS ‘ quest for growth, influence and relevance to the people of Uganda.
There is no one who is not affected or impacted by UNBS work that is undertaken through integrated standardization (standards, metrology, and conformity assessment). Indeed, standardization is key to our safety and health , socio-economic development and the protection of the environment.
While this is so, standardization and its benefits are not fully understood and appreciated by many and over the years the Bureau has been challenged to get consumers, business community, legislators, media and the policy makers to fully appreciate the work of the Bureau.
This has in a way slowed down the investments, growth and response actions by UNBS.
The advocacy, engagement and investments must therefore continue clearly identifying strategic partners and influencers to support the Bureau, invest in human capital and infrastructure so as to support the private sector growth.
Internally within UNBS, a lot of innovations leveraging on staff competences and talent, digital platforms and technology need to be deepened and fast-tracked to ensure that service delivery processes and procedures continue to be simplified, and made faster and better.
The restructuring of the organization to align it with the National Development Plan III, private sector demands and consumer protection is an exercise that needs to be prioritized and concluded.
The embedding of Risk management and compliance in all the Bureau processes as well as international accreditation of all its services must be prioritized and resourced to keep the institution among the top ten agencies of government.
At the 2020 milestone, and after 31 years of existence, the vision and standardization road are clear. Team UNBS has acquired the requisite skills and expertise to offer the desired services within its mandate. The foundation has been well laid for the next phase.
The institutional strategic and operational goals should be monitored and constantly reviewed for improvement so as not to lose focus of the visions and mission of UNBS.
The next team leader should consider and continue to position UNBS as a key and relevant player in the socio-economic development of Uganda more specifically in implementing government policies such as BUBU, imports substitution and the industrialization agenda in the next five years.
The achievements and challenges of UNBS have been articulated and laid out in many documents and reports including the UNBS annual reports.
The demand for UNBS services has grown exponentially in the last five years and continues to grow to put a lot of pressure on existing resources that need further improvement by the government.
Permit me, therefore, to say farewell and (thank you x n) to all staff and stakeholders who supported the Bureau in general and myself in particular during my earlier technical service and later as team leader of UNBS.
Let us be reminded that COVID-19 pandemic is yet to be contained and therefore the need for appropriate responses and staying safe.
I wish all of us God’s blessing wherever and whenever we are called to serve. Merry Xmas and Happy New year.
For God & My Country.
Eng. Dr. Ben M. Manyindo