‘TGSB develops over 300 standards’
By Sulayman Waan
Papa Secka, director general for The Gambia Standard Bureau (TGSB), said the bureau has developed more than 300 standards to ensure standardisation of products into the country.
Speaking to participants during a daylong stakeholders’ engagement meeting on Conductors of Insulated Cables Standard at a local hotel on Friday, he said: “The bureau has developed more than three hundred standards, thirty-three of which are on electrical and allied products that are collectively classified as electrical products,”
He justified that the bureau covers everything without exception including services. However, he was quick to add that considering the limited resources of the bureau, it has to prioritise development plans, government priorities, import and export statistics of goods, health and safety consideration.
According to him, the National Electrical Wiring Standard remains TGSB flagship standard, adding this has been developed taking into account the principle and norms established internationally.
“Current prevailing conditions and practices both local and international, all other remaining standards including cables are direct adoption of IEC standard because IEC wires are internationally accepted reference for electro-technical products,” he confirmed.
He added: “This is in accordance with the ISO/IEC guidance and standard development that National Standard Bodies all over the world follow.”
He, however, said that in practice, many manufacturers around the world would rather produce substandard products owing to the weak regulatory framework of many importing countries.
“This practice has resulted in a number of substandard products,” he stated.
Highlighting on the dangers of substandard cables, he said excessive overheating may result in short circuit conditions leading to an electrical fire.
“We are all witnesses to the numerous fire incidents in our various homes, industrial facilities, public structures such as markets, and schools resulting in significant economic losses and even fatalities. The main source may not be the cables but it certainly has a contributing factor in every case,” he noted.
Secka added that other causes of fire incidents include incompetency of electricians, illegal connections of electrical cables and extreme surges of electricity.
ED Secka thus urged the need for importation of standard electrical products, and professional electrical installation to ensure an end to electrical circuit in the society.
Representing the minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, Louis Mendy, permanent secretary, said the important role that electrical and allied products play in delivering high quality works that result in safe and sound infrastructure cannot be overemphasised.
He observed that since electrical cables are needed in electrical installation; the quality must never be compromised.
He thus reaffirmed the ministry’s commitment to continue its collaboration with TGSB to ensure standardisation of products in the country.