Trade Minister Commits to Support UNBS’ Fight Against Substandard Goods    

The Minister of State for Trade, General Wilson Mbasu Mbadi has reaffirmed his commitment to support UNBS activities geared towards facilitating trade, improving the competiveness of Uganda products and protecting Ugandan consumers against substandard products.

This was announced during the Minister’s maiden visit to the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) head offices in Bweyogerere.

In his report to the minister, the UNBS Acting Executive Director Mr. Daniel Richard Makayi Nangalama noted that the standards body is currently grappling with inadequate budget and manpower to ably execute its mandate.

He informed the Hon. Minister, that UNBS is now operating at less than 50% capacity both in terms of required finances and staff to serve Ugandans, and that the customers; mainly the private sector, pay upfront for all UNBS services but the funds availability is not commensurate to the levels and timing required to serve the paid-up clients, and this has caused a lot of delays and losses for the business community. “There is therefore need for government to review the UNBS funding model and level to ensure that the money paid by the business community is immediately available to give timely services to enterprises and ease the cost of doing business in Uganda,” Mr. Nangalama explained.

On his part, Gen. Mbadi promised to support the UNBS to perform its functions and deliver on its mandate. 

“UNBS is a crucial agency in ensuring that Ugandan products are competitive on national, regional and global markets, offering the much needed  certification services for domestic and Ugandan exports and most importantly, ridding  the market of substandard and harmful products to safeguard the health and safety of Uganda consumers” Gen Mbadi noted. 

He urged UNBS to deal with unscrupulous people who are adulterating good products, citing an example of people who are mixing good cocoa with jackfruit seeds, because of the high cocoa prices, yet this can affect the cocoa market. He added that the mandate of UNBS is critical not only to the business community but

also in terms of national security. He therefore urged UNBS staff to perform their functions diligently and with integrity to give confidence to all stakeholders. He emphasized that Uganda’s economy cannot be transformed from a 50 billion dollar economy to a 500 billion dollar economy without UNBS. He promised to lobby for proper budgetary support for UNBS to enable it deliver on its mandate.