PRESS RELEASE: Iron and Steel Industrialists call for standardisation of quality of products on the Market
KAMPALA – 06/07/2023
In a bid to promote the value of the steel sector in Uganda’s Industrialization Agenda, the Presidential CEO Forum (PCF) conducted a stakeholder field engagement to ascertain firsthand information on opportunities and bottlenecks towards the Sector sustainably contributing to the economy.
A delegation drawn from the Public and Private Sector was led by Dr. Brenda Tibamwenda representing the PCF Chairman Dr. Barbara Mulwana, to interact with the Management of Steel and Tube Industries and Roofings Limited at Namanve Industrial Park.
The Presidential CEO Forum is mandated by H.E. the President to promote local production through bridging the gap between the Public and Private Sector players. The PCF Secretariat is committed to making a difference in shaping the Nation through collective and strategically driven conversations on National Development Agenda.
The Chairman Steel and Tube Industries Mr. Yiga Joseph warmly welcomed the delegation and gave an immersive tour of the factory. Mr. Yiga called upon government through UNBS to review the issue of substandard steel products flooding the local market. He called for a level playing ground, as well as the need to reduce the cost of electricity, and to resolve the high cost of financing which will encourage the much needed value addition investments.
As of 2022, Steel and Tube Industries contributed $42 million towards Value Addition in Uganda, with an employee turnover of 7,301 direct and indirect employees. The company revealed that they are committed to supporting better livelihoods of Ugandans, championing of advanced technology in the steel sector, provision of quality steel products, and import substitution through exporting ‘BUBU’ indigenous made products to the region.
Dr. Sikander Lalani, Chairman and Managing Director Roofings Group Limited, thanked the PCF Board led by Dr. Barbara Mulwana for taking time to come and witness the work being done to transform Uganda’s economy through sustainable industrialisation. The Roofings Group revealed that they are committed to innovation within the Steel sector and have since commissioned a $5 million brand new state of the art plant to meet all market needs for quality plastic pipes, uPVC, HDPE and PPR products plus fittings in the region.
Dr. Lalani emphasized the need for quickened action to stop the inferior quality steel products being easily traded in the Ugandan market. He also highlighted the challenge of electric galvanizing as opposed to hot dip galvanizing of steel, stressing that electro galvanized products offer a thin layer of protection and are not durable, much as are being currently heavily promoted in the Uganda market compared to hot dipped products which Roofings Limited makes.
Mr. Deo Kayemba, the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) Chairman implored increased collaboration within the Steel industry inorder to achieve success. He urged Ugandans to support the products from indigenous companies to increase the country’s GDP. Mr. Kayemba further highlighted that there is a concerted effort to resolve the issues raised from the Iron and Steel players.
Dr. Brenda Tibamwenda intimated that Iron and Steel is one of the sectors that have been spotted by H.E. the President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, and that under his leadership, government is readily available to support the promotion of value addition in their operations to enhance Uganda’s local quality products and exports to the regional and global markets.
Dr. Tibamwenda shared that following the successful stakeholder field engagement visit previously to Tembo Steels (U) Ltd and Mutuma Commercial Agencies Ltd, and now to the two Steel factories, the PCF Secretariat is committed to ensure all the insights provided will be presented to H.E. the President for consideration and further policy action by the PCF Board and members. She commended the Steel and Tube plus Roofings Limited leadership for providing equal opportunities for female employees.
The PCF delegation resolved to help propose strict measures to curb challenges of substandard steel products in the Ugandan market.