Vice-President Saulos Chilima says he is satisfied with the construction works of the new Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) office complex in Blantyre, which will also house a modern laboratory.
The Veep said the laboratory will improve the bureau’s testing and standardisation of the country’s products before being exported.
Chilima toured the construction site on Friday to appreciate the progress as part of government reforms agenda.
He said: “It is good work because we came here in 2017 to lay a foundation stone and now three years later, we see a lab and building that is almost completed.
“This is commendable and it is one of the fruits of the reforms here at the Malawi Bureau of Standards. This is a lab that will both save money for Malawi but also bring money.”
Chilima said the lab will have the capacity to test food, construction materials and minerals, among others, before being exported.
He said the new lab will also reduce the country’s expenses in sending products abroad for certification.
But Chilima acknowledged the delay to finish construction of the building, saying lack of funds was a huge setback.
He said: “It is true the works slowed down a bit, but they have assured me that in the next nine to 10 months the works will be completed and they may start using it.
“We would have loved if it was completed earlier, but funds did not allow. We are about to have a lab that will generate money for this country.”
MBS director general Simon Mandala said the bureau is confident that the work will finish within the stipulated timeframe as the works are at 96 percent completion.
He said the bureau is waiting for heating ventilation and air conditioning systems that were imported from China.
Mandala said MBS expects a robust standardisation quality assurance and good infrastructure in line with public sector reforms.
The Malawi Government funded construction of new MBS offices to the tune of K12 billion while donors supported the project with equipment.