In a bid to have a unifying measurement and a cheating free markets across the state, the Osun State government has introduced a Standard Weighing Scale called “Osunwon Omoluabi.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola is set to launch the innovative scale next week Monday, according to former Commissioner for Commerce, Industries, Cooperatives and Empowerment, Mr. Ismail Alagbada, on Tuesday June 7.
Addressing a press conference, Alagbada said that the state government was worried about the discrepancies in and cheating attributed to the use of traditional scale, particularly for grains.
The introduction of the ‘Osunwon Omoluabi, according to Alagbada, is to ensure justice and equity in commercial transactions in all market across the state.
He explained that equity and justice is lacking in the continue using of existing measuring bowls such as Kongo, Kobiowu, Denge and others adding that there is a great variation in the weights and measures used in different localities; and even at times, in those used by different individuals in the same locality.
According to him, “the use of inaccurate measures often leads to chaotic situation in most market places. Consequently, commercial transactions become laborious, unhealthy and with the attendant high transaction costs, ultimately hindering the pace of growth of trade and commerce.
Alagbada stated that the state government, like the three religion being practiced by the people of the state frowned at the use of unjust and inaccurate measures in commercial transactions.
The former commission said that the use of standardized weighing scales is legal and constitutes items 63 on the Exclusive List of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria and being made active in the state.
Alagbada hinted that the state government had consulted widely with stakeholders in trade and commerce in the state including opinion and religious leaders in the state for it use adding that the existing mode of open air display and sale of most edible items in the market places constitute grave hazard to health and well being of consumers.
According to him, “most items are openly exposed to dusts, flies and many other agents of diseases. Most of the communicable diseases are as a result of the exposure of edible products to vectors carrying the causative germs. Sometimes, nursing mothers after cleaning up their babies still use the unwashed hands to measure food items.
“Furthermore, the existing measures are based more on rule of thumbs than any degree of accuracy and consistency. The existing measuring standard are not accurate and full of inherent shortcomings often observed by the market men and women themselves.”
He enunciated the gains of using standardizing scales saying it will however eliminate all inherent shortcomings, mistrust, incessant arguments and disagreement that are currently common place in commercial transactions.
“The standardized scales and measures will positively impact on the economy of the state by bringing unprecedented ease to trade and commercial transactions in the state.
“This will no doubt increase the pace and volume of transactions among traders and consumers, thereby increasing the volume of commerce. It will also attract consumers from neighbouring states who will want to take advantage of the novel programme of standardization of measurements in the state.
“The programme will create large number of business and employment opportunities for citizens of the state as large number of unemployed youths would acquire vocational training in repairs and maintenance of scales.
“People in the state will spend less on health maintenance since the new measures are health promoting, not allowing for exposure of goods to flies and dusts”, he said.
Alagbada explained that the fear that majority of market men and market women are illiterate and may not be easily susceptible change and accurate reading of the scales have been taken care of by the state government adding that wide sensitizations and enlightenments have been carried out.
While appealing to market men and women and other stakeholders to key into the emerging commercial revolution in the state, Alagbada disclosed that special weights and measures unit have been established in the ministry saddled with responsibility of monitoring day-to-day administration of the standardized weighing scales and measures programmes.
He said further that 178 OYES cadets have been trained under the train the trainer programme on the use, maintenance and repairs adding that they would also man some control posts in all the market to serve both as repair and challenge-mitigating centres.
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