Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has asked steel manufacturers to act as watchdogs in the fight against non-certified companies that paint a bad picture to the industry.
Speaking ahead of the July 1 deadline for mandatory certification of steel products, Mr Ben Manyindo, the UNBS executive director, said steel manufacturers should alert them of non-certified and fake products to save the market.
“Since you are in the field and more knowledgeable, let us work together to catch these people. You know them. We should work together to weed them out,” he said during a stakeholders meeting with steel manufacturers.
According to Mr Manyindo, all steel and iron sheet products must have a quality mark dully certified by UNBS after July 1.
Certified products must meet required standards in terms of measures, thickness and strength. Fake, counterfeit and substandard products are a serious problem to Uganda, which makes the economy to lose more that Shs1 trillion. Substandard products in the steel sector, according to UNBS, are supplied through hardware dealers, who in turn supply to the market.
Recently, Mr Kasingye Kyamugambi, the Standard Gauge Railway project coordinator, proposed creation of a new law to curb falling quality, adding that policies to support local content are weak which negatively affects manufactures.
This, he said, has made Ugandan steel manufacturers and others miss out on supplying products to large projects such dams and the SGR.