UNBS inaugurates new National Standards Council

UGANDA – The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has launched a new Board, the 9th National Standards Council (NSC), to stump out the prevalence of counterfeit products in the country.

The UNBS annual report 2020/2021 states that products worth more than Shs2.5b (USD 643,870.75) were destroyed due to non-conformance to standards.

Addressing the audience at the swearing-in ceremony of the new Board members, Mr. Charles Musekuura, the incoming Chairperson of the Board, said the team of 10 will ensure that the quality of products both on the Ugandan market and for export are of the highest quality through standardization.

“We are going to fight to ensure that our quality assurance laboratories are spread out across the country and can test any products. We will also approve the standards required for a product to be of good quality,” he said.

He added that the UNBS will conduct awareness campaigns so that manufacturers, innovators, and importers know the consequences of selling substandard products.

The UNBS Executive Director, Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru, noted that with the new Board in place, market interventions are bound to continue to ensure improved product quality and access to markets, as well as protection of citizens from substandard products.

“We are going to fight to ensure that our quality assurance laboratories are spread out across the country and can test any products. We will also approve the standards required for a product to be of good quality.”

Mr. Charles Musekuura, Chairperson, UNBS National Standards Council Tweet

The UNBS Executive Director, Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru, noted that with the new Board in place, market interventions are bound to continue to ensure improved product quality and access to markets, as well as protection of citizens from substandard products.

He pointed out that most of the substandard products are manufactured by small enterprises in undeclared locations. He, however, urged the government to provide more funding to the body so that it can address some of the challenges they are facing.

“We still require more staff to complete the decentralization process. We are short-staffed, especially at the border posts,” he said.

Mr. Francis Mwebesa, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, urged the Board to make sure the UNBS team is of help to the public rather than being scouts on the streets just confiscating goods from shops.

“You find someone in a shop with substandard products but he also purchased them from another seller or another place. Therefore, the Board should concentrate on the source where the goods originate from. Focus on the factories rather than the shops who are third parties,” he said.

He also urged the new members to acquaint themselves with the UNBS mandate, to enable them execute their roles which include approval of National Standards for implementation in trade and the industry.

Members of the Board include; Mr. Charles Musekuura, Chairperson of the Board; Dr. Tom Okia Okurut, former National Environment Authority (NEMA); Mr. Andima Alfred Oyo,Ex-Official MTIC- Under Secretary;  Eng. James Kabali Kalibbala, Managing Director and Proprietor Electoral Controls and Switchgear; and Ms. Sarah Irene Kibuka Walusimbi, Advocate.

Others are Mr. Robert Mwanje, Chairperson- Grain Council; Dr. Aminah Zawedde, Ex-Official Permanent Secretary- Ministry of ICT; Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru, Secretary of the Board; Ms. Pamella Achii and Mr. Omar Mohammed.

UNBS was established as a semi-autonomous body by an Act of Parliament in 1983, with the NSC as its policy making body.

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