•Market women embrace ‘Osunwon Omoluabi’

By Gbenga Olarinoye, Osogbo

When about a year ago, Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration introduced new measuring and weight scale into the markets in Osun State to check cheats, like any other innovation, it was roundly condemned by market men and women.

But a year down the lane, the market men and women across markets in the state may have resolved to collaborate with government to ensure total compliance with the new measuring and weight scale.

Governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state

The weighing scale, tagged, “Osuwon Omoluabi”, was introduced with a view to eliminating problems associated with the old measuring practices in commercial transactions in the state.

The government, worried by the problems associated with the old measuring practices, such as deliberate alteration of measures by trimming the head, melting and layering the plastic bowls and other measuring containers with candles and waxes to reduce container size, distortion of bottles to reduce the holding content capacity and unhygienic conditions of the bottles, tins and others used for measuring liquid items due to repeated use, are some of the reasons causing frequent friction between buyers and sellers of goods in markets.

Some nursing mothers do not help the situation as, after cleaning up their babies, still use the unwashed hands to measure food items while the measuring bowls, tin and bottles are exposed to vectors carrying germs.

At the launch last year, government officially outlawed the old measuring practices of transacting business using plastic bowls such as Kongo, Denge, Kobiowu, Dana, tin, hand testing and sizing by eyes.

Following intense enlightenment and collaboration between government and stakeholders, market men and women now embrace wholeheartedly the new scale.

Government team visited over 50 markets across Osun where the new measuring and weighing scales are sold to market leaders and members at subsidized rate by officials of the state Ministry of Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives, a development indicating a growing popularity of the scale among the market men and women.

Officials of the ministry also conducted sensitization and enlightenment programmes for traders on the use and repairs in case the scale is damaged.

Some of the markets visited include Modakeke, Inisa, Kajola, Ilobu, Ifon, Ogbajo, Ile-Ife, Atakunmosa in Ilesa, Ijebu-Jesa, Iragbiji, Gbongan, Ode-Omu, Owode-Ede, Sekona, Iperindo, Owena, Ejigbo, Ila-Orangun, Iwo, Garage Olode, Obokun, Ayegbaju, Ede.

Speaking at the sensitization and training on the use of the new standard scale at Igbonna Market, Osogbo, the leader of market men, who is also the Babaloja of the state, Chief David Iyiola, commended the state government for the innovation.

He said the gesture had saved them from cheating and being cheated, adding that the use of measuring scale is beneficial to both sellers and buyers.

The President General of Osun State Market Women Association, Alhaja Awawu Asindemade, said the standardised scale became necessary owing to imbalance in measurement and fraud in commercial activities in the past.

She however warned that the introduction of the standard scale should not translate to increase in commodity price system in the market.

Special Adviser to Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Commerce, Hon. Femi Popoola, said there are lots of gains for stakeholders using the new standard scale.

He stressed that government had recorded a substantial progress on it and warned against contravening the law on the new scale, saying market associations would deal decisively with defaulters.

The state Commissioner for Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives, Adekunle Jayeoba-Alagbada, hinted that the standardized weighing scale across markets in the state became necessary to mitigate challenges noticeable in commercial transactions.

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 standardized weighing scale. He stated that training workshops had been conducted in markets all over the state on the effective use of the scale.

The Commissioner maintained that the Ministry of Industries, Commerce and Cooperatives is saddled with the responsibility of monitoring the day-to-day administration of the enforcement.

Alagbada added that 178 OYES cadets had been trained under the train-the-trainer programme on the use, maintenance and repairs of the measuring scale.

He assured traders from neighbouring states to come over and patronise markets in the state, saying that they will have value for their goods and services.

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