By: Polycarp Sola
Abakaliki | Members of the Abakaliki rice millers association have hailed Governor Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi State on a ban on scaling for the measurement of rice and the reintroduction of the 100-cup bushel.
This commendation came even as the price of rice at the Abakaliki rice mill company at the time of this report had crashed to 15.000 Naira against the 20. 000 naira which was sold barely a week after the reintroduction of the bushel measurement.
Chairman of the association, Mr Chukwuma Daniel, while commending Governor Nwifuru said the bushel measurement would enable both uneducated sellers and local farmers to benefit from the business.
“The former governor introduced the usage of scale and since then, many of our members have been thrown out of business because they are uneducated sellers, they buy in bags and sell on scale.
“We thank the governor of Ebonyi State and the leadership of Abakaliki rice mill owners for the reintroduction of this bushel, this bushel will help our local farmers and local traders”. Chukwuma said.
He noted that his association’s adoption of the bushel measurement would put an end to the fraudulent activities of some individuals at the mill company who go out of the norm to adjust the scale to cheat buyers.
“Some people will buy a bushel of 25kg, and when they go to the scale to measure it, some get 18, 19 kg, some 20kg, and that is cheating, but the bushel is very transparent.
“We want to commend the State Government for bringing back the bushel and the leadership of Abakaliki rice mill owners for adhering to the government directives, we the traders who supply the company with rice are happy over the development”. he added.
The chairman, however, called on other members of the association to ensure adherence to the government directives to enhance buyer and seller as well as customer relationships.
“The price of the bushel will reduce the cost of rice, we have been selling rice here, for 19 to 20 thousand naira but from today, you will see that the price has reduced to 16, 17, and 15k as against 20k, the customers will be happy, the seller and the farmers too.
The secretary of the association, Hon Ikechukwu Nwede, said for the past eight years the millers association has struggled with the use of scale to measure the rice as customers and sellers clash due to disparity of the measurements.
“Every farmer and seller is happy, the bushel cannot be tampered with because it is produced in a way that if you tamper with it it will be destroyed to the disadvantage of the owner, those who are not happy about it are because they don’t have a way to amend it and cheat people,” he said.
Lending her voice, Mrs Obasi Martina, a trader said she is happy over the development and noted the end to fraudulent activities of some individuals in the rice mill company would strengthen the revenue of the company and boost the state’s economy.
Mrs Igwe Eucharia, a customer at the rice mill company expressed her joy at the crash of the price, noting its significance especially as it’s coming during the festive season, she noted that this is her first time buying a bushel of rice since January, due to the crash of the price.
“People that are doing fraud were using the scale to cheat buyers, they will adjust it and it brought a lot of problems to the rice mill, the reintroduction of the bushel is a good development because there’s no way to cheat people” They informed.
The Abakaliki Rice Millers Association is a group of over 200 people, operating in the rice mill company and are in the business of buying and selling rice across the country, they are made up of local farmers and uneducated sellers.