The Directorate of the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau (SLSB) has facilitated the distribution of Scales to business people selling rice in Freetown. The scales which will be used to weigh 50 kilograms of rice and other goods were bought by Commodities Trading Company (CTC) Limited, one of the leading companies in the importation and sale of Sierra Leone’s staple food rice.
The objective of the distribution is to ensure fairness in trade by giving consumers the opportunity to weigh the rice in the shops before buying it.
In his opening statement, Professor Thomas Yormah, Executive Director SLSB welcomed officials of CTC and representatives of the business community. Professor Yormah said that the SLSB is a Government agency created through an Act of Parliament to look after the welfare of people in Sierra Leone.
“Goods and services can be substandard if they are not of the right quality and if they are not of the prescribed quantity. Quality is based on our adopted gazetted National Standards and anything that does not meet those proscriptions is substandard,” he underscored.
He noted, adding that the SLSB by standardising measurements does not only help save the economy, it also helps to enhance fair trade and just business practices.
Professor Yormah said the distribution of the scales by CTC emanated from a verification exercise that was conducted by the SLSB and the outcome of that exercise recommended that CTC, one of the leading distributors of rice, purchases scales for the business people they are dealing with.
He reiterated that SLSB was determined to ensure that “there is fairness-in-trade” and it is determined to ensure that the buying public gets value for their money for “all goods and services and not necessarily for rice and sugar.
Giving an overview of the process, Mr. Frank Martin, Manager of the Metrology Department said SLSB embarked on the verification exercise following complaints from the public and echoed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. He said the verification discovered some shops don’t have scales to weigh bagged rice and there was also unscrupulous tampering with bagged CTC rice during the period of transportation from the stores to market places.
He urged the recipients of the scales to utilize the scales for their intended purpose adding that SLSB will be enforcing the law by end of August this year.
Mr. Bashir Jaward, Operations Manager, CTC, commended the Standards Bureau for facilitating the process noting that it was a step in the right direction. He said the purchase and distribution of the scales to rice dealers was a manifestation of CTC complying with the recommendations of the Standards Bureau. He urged business people to utilize the scales for their intended purpose.
Mr. Amadu Jogor Bah, Deputy Director of SLSB commended CTC for distributing the scales and informed the meeting that the Government of Sierra Leone in 2010 enacted laws that require business people to have scales to weigh the goods they trade in.
He emphasised that both the Quran and the Bible forbids shortening measurement or cheating in trade. He admonished them to be fair in their trade.
Danielda Brown, of the Danny Tee Investment, in her vote of thanks on behalf of the traders commended CTC and the Standards Bureau for the distribution of the scales. She assured CTC and the Bureau that the scales would be utilized for the intended purpose.
The event was climaxed with the distribution of the scales to the traders.