Lira Maize millers were given three weeks to register
News | The Northern Link UG | The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has given Lira maize millers a 3 weeks ultimatum to register their businesses. It follows an operation conducted by the standards body on Thursday and Friday last week, which led to the closure of over 25 maize mills for alleged failure to comply with the quality assurance standards.
Following the operation, the aggrieved maize millers under Lira Small-Scale Industries Association Limited (LSSIA) petitioned Lira city authorities for intervention into the matter because UNBS did not notify them on what they ought to do before closing their businesses. This prompted Lawrence Egole, the Lira Resident City Commissioner to convene a meeting between UNBS and the millers on Monday.
During the meeting, Ronald Ahimbisibwe, the Principal Certification Officer and Head of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development at UNBS explained they briefed the association leaders early this year on the requirements and were expected to send the message to them their members. He however said that they would reopen the affected mills on grounds that the owners start the registration process.
Emmanuel Akeny, the chairperson Lango Millers Association complained that the three week’s period given to them is insufficient.
Rashid Opio, a miller whose business premise was also sealed says there is a need for more sensitization on the standards
Lawrence Egole acknowledged the fact that the country is recovering from the lockdown but advised the businessmen to ensure the best quality products go out to the market.
Sylvia Kirabo, the UNBS Public Relations Officer reiterated the need for every miller to register with the bureau and secure the quality mark.
The other measures include ensuring that the business premises, milling equipment, and stores are regularly cleaned and records kept.
They also require the millers to ensure that there is no foreign matter such as stones, wooden particles, hair, or nails in the flour but the millers who were put under seal were found not to be following those guidelines.
Although following the closure of their premises, some millers started the registration process and UNBS went ahead to unseal them.