Mr Adamu Ahmed, the Coordinator of Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Borno, has cautioned rice processing companies in the state against sharp practice to maximise profit.
Ahmed who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Maiduguri, said the call became necessary following complaints by consumers locally produced rice in 10, 25 and 50 kg bags were short of the actual weight specifications.
Ahmed said such sharp practice noticed by consumers in contents of assorted grains was unacceptable, adding that SON would soon clampdown on defaulting manufacturers and dealers of such products.
“Consumers should come to SON to complain whenever they observe such things or sub standard products.
“In doing that, they have helped the manufacturer to improve his product and other consumers to combat bad products.
“There is standard for rice if you are processing rice. Come to SON to get the standard and make sure your product meets the required standard,” the coordinator said.
Many consumers who spoke to NAN in Maiduguri have raised concern about the poor packaging of local rice.
Abubakar Musa, a Civil Servant, said, “You will notice that the rice is full of stones and husks while the weight is not commensurate with the kilogrammes written on the bag.
“You will see a 10kg bag weighing 8kg, 20kg weighing 18kg, and sometimes a 50kg bag weighing 40kg! This is cheating.”
Halima Lawan, a University student, urged relevant authorities like SON to start a campaign against the malpractice.
“We need to have an aggressive campaign against sharp practice; it’s not fair for consumers to be buying things at exorbitant costs while the content does not meet the weight specification,” Lawan said.
Bukar Usman, a trader, observed that while few shop owners, particularly dealers were responsible for reducing the contents of grains, in most cases the reduction was done by the manufacturers.
“We are also not happy with that. Many contractors supplying local rice to organisations feeding displaced persons in camps use to complain that many bags of rice were rejected because the weight is less than the kilogrammes written on the bags,” Usman said. (NAN)