Local petroleum distribution companies should seek global recognition to ensure wider reach as well as safeguarding their operations, Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), has said.
Speaking during a function on which Vivo Energy - the distributors of Shell branded fuels and lubricants - was awarded three ISO certifications last week, Mr Ben Manyindo, the UNBS executive director, said local companies must implement quality, environmental and occupational health and safety management systems that are globally recognised.
“Most companies meet minimum requirements but [some have decided to] up the game to be isolated as a better player,” he said, adding that such a move will create good competition that is beneficial to the consumers and the company as a whole.
There are more than 380 standards so far developed as minimum requirements in the oil and gas sector, many of which focus on safety and occupational health.
Mr Gilbert Assi, the Vivo managing director, said they were seeking external assurances to reassure consumers of the superiority and quality of their products.
Citing the need for giving consumers the best value for their money and driving further growth in the sector, the ministry of Energy urged companies to ensure compliance with required standards and work towards sustaining international certifications.
It also expects building of quality products and services in the value chain, forming a model for satisfying customers and addressing public environmental concerns.
“To us, it is very important because a company like Vivo going for those certifications is a stamp that the business environment in the downstream sector is very vibrant and that it is an area where people would want to stay,” Mr Frank Tukwasibwe Commissioner Petroleum Supply and Distribution said.