2 Members Arrested In Abakaliki Rice Mill On Alleged Measurement Fraud

Polycarp Sola -Abakaliki

Towards ensuring the safety of its customers as well as enforcing its rules and regulations on measurement tools in the rice industry, the Abakaliki Rice Mill Owners Industry Association reportedly apprehended two of its members for using unauthorized scale machines to defraud customers in the market.

It recalls that the Ebonyi State government, in collaboration with the Association, placed a ban on the use of scale machines and reintroduced the bushel measurement.

The approved measuring method in the mill, which is the bushel (pan), contained about 100 to 109 cups of rice and weighed about 28.20 kg, compared to the scale measurement of the apprehended members, which measured about 23.20 kg.

Mr. Linus Obeji, Chairman of the Mill Owners, told reporters in Abakaliki on Friday that the two members apprehended had been handed over to the police for proper prosecution.

Obeji, who condemned the act of cheating customers, urged members to strictly adhere to the executive order of the state governor, R.t. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru, on the bushel measuring policy.

“A bushel is exactly the 28.20 kg we all know, which contains about 100 to 109 cups of rice.

“We have accepted the executive order of the Governor, and we will not hesitate to hand over any members found wanting to the police.

“We are on the move to sanitize the rice mill and get rid of every fraudulent activity regarding dealing with the customers. 

“This is an executive order from the Governor, and every member needs to obey in order to renew the hope of the customers in the mill.

“The issue of measuring method must be right because we will not allow any form of fraudulent measurement in the rice mill,” the chairman stated. 

Meanwhile, His Royal Highness Chief Sunday Oketa, the traditional ruler of the Nkaleke Echara-Unuhu autonomous community in the Ebonyi local government area of the state, also condemned the act of cheating customers with fake scale machines.

Oketa, 82, one of the founders of the rice mill market in Ebonyi, noted that the mill, founded in 1943, was not known for such fraudulent activities. 

He urged dealers in the market to desist from the act and support state government policy towards sustainable development in the mill.

“It is better to engage in genuine business than cheat customers. The government has made it clear that the bushel (pan) should be used for measurement in the market.

“I urge them to strictly adhere to the order and give to the customers the genuine measurement,” he advised. 

A check on the price of the product in the market revealed that a bushel of 28.20 kg was sold for between N23, 000 and N26,000 naira, depending on the market force of demand and supply.

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