By Gbenga Olarinoye
Osun State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Monday, June 13, 2016, launched a valuable commercial project in the state which has made the administration to score another first. It was a day for government functionaries, technocrats, politicians, business gurus, traders, market men and women and enthusiasts of Aregbesola administration and the ruling APC.
The crowd at the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, Osogbo was agog for the launch of the much awaited device that would ensure cheating-free market transactions across Osun State. The scheme was launched with market women and men to ensure that people get value for their money on whatever they buy from market, and also protect the traders from unprofitable commercial transactions. The device is simply called “Osunwon Omoluabi”, Standard Weighing Scale.
The basis of fair and honest trade is, and always has, rested on the use of accurate weights and measures. No business can be conducted satisfactorily unless each person is sure the other person is being fair and honest. Governor Aregbesola, while launching the standard weighing scale, stated the scheme would eliminate cheating and other underhanded practices that have become the hallmark of trading in most markets.
He said: “In the quest to be competitive and make more profit, which is driven by greed, traders now devise varying means of short-changing buyers. Measures are deliberately reduced through cutting, filling with candles and wax, and sleight of hand. Scales are tilted fraudulently while husks, chaffs, barks and other rubbish are included in goods sold, with the intention of reducing the actual values of what the buyers take home. Those who are in the business can tell you what loss they suffered because the foreigners distrusted their products and classified all cocoa coming from our land as inferior, irrespective of the grade.”
The coordinator of the scheme, Mr. Ismaila Adekunle Jayeoba-Alagbada, who is the former Commissioner for Industries, Commerce, Cooperatives and Empowerment, maintained that the standardised weighing scale across markets in the state became necessary to mitigate challenges noticeable in commercial transactions.
Process of exchange
Jayeoba-Alagbada said in order to erase cheating in the process of exchange of commercial goods and checkmate other market forces challenges, government decided to formally introduce the standardised weighing scales. The President General of Osun State Market Women’s Association, Alhaja Awawu Asindemade, said the standardised scale became necessary owing to imbalance in measurement and fraud in commercial activities.
Asindemade: “It is in a bid to correct the anomaly in measurement and scale that the Government of Osun introduced the standardised weighing scales in markets in the state so as to forestall fraud and cheating in making measurements. As we welcome this innovation, I call on my constituency – market men and women – to cooperate with government to make this a success. Besides, introduction of this weight and measurement does not and should not lead to increase in prices of commodities in our market.”
It’s another rip off of Osun people -PDP
Osun state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday said the recently launched “food weighing machine” by Governor Rauf Aregbesola is a rip off meant to benefit some Lagos based cronies of the Governor. The party also claimed over N200 million was spent on the launch of the initiative, adding that an Ondo-born ex-aide of Governor Aregbesola, who is in the governorship race of the state, collected N150 million for supplying marques and a public address system used for the ceremony.
Governor Aregbesola on Monday, June 13 launched the standardised weight for use in markets across the state at an elaborate ceremony in Osogbo. But PDP in a statement issued in Osogbo by its spokesperson, Prince Diran Odeyemi, said the new scale is “another product of a confused mind, meant to rip off Osun people and designed to fail.”
Ignore PDP – Osun APC
In a swift response, the APC in the State described PDP’s criticism of Gov Aregbesola’s launch of the Weights and Measures Standard Procedure in the State as “the natural reaction of people ill-disposed to transparency,” In a statement by the Party’s Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Kunle Oyatomi, the APC castigated the PDP for its alleged criticism of all Ogbeni Aregbesola’s projects since 2010′.
The introduction of ‘Osunwon Omoluabi’ is to prevent cheating by unscrupulous people involved in commerce in the state. It is a measure that will bring order to commercial activities in markets in the state. According to the APC, “only people who pathologically resent order, decency and transparency would see anything objectionable in the launch of ‘Osunwon Omoluabi. it’s these characteristics inherent in the makeup of the PDP that have led to the economic catastrophy which Nigeria is experiencing today.