A surveillance report by Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) for the Financial Year 2018/19 has indicated that 51 per cent of goods on the market are fake and substandard.
While unveiling the report at Uganda Media Centre on Wednesday the UNBS Executive Director Ben Manyindo said that there is still a big challenge in monitoring and enforcement of valid goods on the market.
“Although we have a challenge of monitoring fake goods at the market, there is a 3 per cent drop from the 2017/2018 records of 54 per cent. This was not our target since we had targeted 10 per cent drop at least however, we have also witnessed an exponential increase number of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs),” said Manyindo.
He added that eradicating fake goods on the market Uganda is not a sole struggle but it will need a concerted effort from everybody all Ugandans.
“However, we have also another vice where some people who realise that they have products which are nearing expiring dates remove them from the shells and relabel them with new expiry dates,” he added.
He added that for the past one year, UNBS has undertaken activities following approved working programmes and budget aiming at improving the competitiveness of Ugandan products to access regional and international markets but fakes goods are still are sabotage.
The report also shows that 35 per cent of the electricity meters used by industrialists and large commercial setups were found to be inaccurate and susceptible to cheating industrialists and manufacturers.
12 per cent of verified fuel pumps were under-delivering fuel to customers thus cheating consumers. 8 per cent of the pumps were delivering more fuel thus cheating fuel retailers. The culpable fuel station was penalised in accordance with existing regulations.
156,514 weighing pieces of equipment were verified against a target of 155,646. About 35 per cent of the total verified weighing equipment were cheating consumers.
“Without our interventions, customers would have lost Shs11.3 billion in inaccurate measurements,” said Manyindo.
As one way of curbing the problem of fake goods on the market, Manyindo said Shs6 billion has been allocated to the construction of the Food safety laboratories.
“The labs are 95 per cent complete and are expected to be commissioned later this year. During the FY 2018/19, UNBS undertook Product Certification and Management Systems Certification to improve the quality of locally manufactured products so that they can access regional and international markets,” he added.
The report also shows that the East African Community region has become a major destination for Ugandan exports.
“In June we exported more goods to the East African Community (EAC) than any other region in the world. Exports to Tanzania and Kenya registered the largest increases of 114.5 per cent and 111.2 per cent respectively,” he added.