The Benue state government has officially launched unified standard measurements for grains and fruits produce which would be used in all markets across the state.
The initiative which aimed at protecting the interest of both farmers and consumers is also in line with the state government’s pledge to ensure that farmers are not shortchanged. The standard measurements include:
- For grains and fruits – 28 by 47 inch sacks
- For garri – 23 by 25 inch sacks
- For grains using one hand scoop – 1kg standard mudu
- For polished/milled rice – 25kg standard tin
Speaking during the launch at the Makurdi International Market, Governor Samuel Ortom assured farmers that his administration will do everything lawfully possible to ensure that they get value for their produce.
He also pledged that the government monitor and ensure full compliance with the unified measurement.
While congratulating the state Commissioner for Industries, Trade and Investments, Dr. Tersoo Kpelai over the development, Governor Ortom said Benue must live up to the expectations of the Nigerian community in terms of agriculture development.
He encouraged farmers to go into the production of cash crops such as Cucumber, Water Melon and Carrot among others, while also emphasising the need to embrace dry season farming which he said is more lucrative.
Governor Ortom also reiterated his support for agricultural production so as to boost food security in Benue state.
In his address of welcome, Dr. Kpelai noted that the Unified Standard Weights and Measures was the initiative of Governor Ortom to create an enabling environment for both farmers and buyers to have value for their investments.
According to the Commissioner, the standard measurements would not only boost agricultural activities and ensure value for farmers’ sweat but also put an end to the perennial suffering farmers go through in the hands of buyers and merchants.
The commissioner stated that an enforcement team would be constituted to ensure full implementation of the policy, warning that no one would be spared if found fabricating or duplicating the standard measurements.
Richard Ujege, the Chairman of the Benue Assembly Committee on Industry, Trade and Investment, who also spoke at the event, lauded the government for the introduction of the unified weights and measures.
According to him, the new policy would curb the traders’ sharp practices and sanitise the markets.
BuzzNigeria recalls that Governor Ortom had earlier in the month pledged to take Benue to lofty heights and expressed his desire to partner with any individual or group of persons with useful ideas that could add value to his government.
He promised that the remaining part of his tenure would be more fruitful with a view to trickling down many dividends of democracy to every nook and cranny of the state.
In a related development, the State government had on Wednesday, August 9, clarified that it had no intention of retrenching or downsizing its workforce, despite its huge wage bill and the prevailing economic recession.
According to the state’s Commissioner for Finance, Mr. David Olofu, Governor Ortom was not disposed to laying off workers, stating that it will rely on the outcome of the ongoing screening being carried out by the committee on Emergency on Salary Payment to get a true picture and figure of the state’s workforce.
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“Retrenchment of staff and half payment of salaries are the options available to us as a government. But as you know the disposition Governor Ortom: those are not options that are attractive to him.
“This is because of the nature of the state’s economy. He has lived all his life in Benue State and knows that to every worker there are four to five dependents. “He has never, since I started working with him, considered those options,” Olofu said.