Yetunde Oladejo, Osogbo
Osun state government has explained that the growing need for accuracy of measurement, better packaging and display of consumable goods in ways that safeguard health prompted it to introduce the use of standardized weighing scales called Osunwon Omoluabi in all markets in the state.
A former Commissioner for Commerce, Industries, Cooperatives and Empowerment, Mr. Ismail Adekunle Jayeoba-Alagbada, stated this in Osogbo on Tuesday at a press conference heralding the official launch of the use of standardized weighing scales in the state.
Alagbada who noted standardizing weights and measurements is critical to equity and justice in an effort to establish consumer’s confidence and economic said almost all present day commercial transaction reflect that such faith is often lacking.
He said 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 which he said often leads to chaotic situations in most market places.
His words: “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.
“The introduction of standardized weights and measurement in all our market as conceived by governor Rauf Aregbesola is no doubt an exceptional demonstration of foresight and proactive response to the growing need for accuracy of measurement, better packaging and display of consumable goods in ways that safeguard health and promote cordial social interactions in the markets in the state.
” This, as envisaged would enable the regulation of trade or commerce in goods which are sold or distributed by weight, measure or number and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental there to. ”
He noted that the use of standardized weighing scales is back by law and constitute items 63 on the Exclusive List of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria and being made active in the state.
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.
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.
He further explained that 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.
The former commissioner while appealing to market men and market women and other stakeholders to key into the emerging commercial revolution in the state 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.