NW Trade Officials Target Contraband Goods


Bamenda Main Market

traders In front of the Bamenda Main Market, are hardly subjected to such control creating an unfair competition with those in lockups

Officials of the regional delegation of commerce Northwest are currently on the field in their annual drive to fish out illegal and contraband goods that could be harmful to the consumers .

Speaking over CRTV Bamenda Isaac Ngansako, the chief of Brigade for contraband at the regional delegation of Trade and Commerce NW  said the operation has exposed a lot of illegal goods in the market. This includes toilet tissues, soft drinks, beverages, beers, canned food and confectionery. Some of these goods he said have no manufacturing nor expiring dates on them. The instructions on some are in foreign languages like Japanese, Chinese and Korean.

He said the control that has been ongoing for the past two weeks. He called on business men to be responsible and protect the interest of the consumers they serve.

Many sellers at the Bamenda main market rather see it as a crack down on their activities. A wholesaler at the Main Market who declined to give her name said many buyers come in search of cheap goods mostly imported through Nigeria. “If I insist on the homologated prices and those that they call official goods then I would have nothing to sell here” she complained. “Besides these guys always find fault no matter how we try to implement all the numerous rules they say exist. They are only out for one thing” she said without concluding her statement.

Officials of Trade always insist for sellers to respect homologated prices, display the prices of all goods on sale, show all their purchase invoices, receipt booklets and monthly transactions amongst others. Many see these as a probe into their business dealing promoting resistance and breeding a fertile ground for corrupt practices.

NW Trade Delegate Anye Cletus Matoya has been organizing regular monthly sales of some basic goods like cooking gas, sugar, table oil, flour in an attempt to mitigate price inflation by some retailers. Cooking gas for example is sold at such sales at 6 500F whereas is may cost up to 10 000F in the market. They blame this on middlemen who create artificial scarcity to drive up prices. This they say is one of the reasons for the regular price control.

Public opinion is divided on this. For some consumer, these controls are yet to have any visible impact because they still continue to buy these same goods at an even higher price after them. “They are only helping to push up the cost of the goods we buy, because I have never seen any change” Ngu Rosa a buyer at food market told me in pidgin English, a view reflected by some of her friends.

Just a few metre down the road, I met another lady buying foodstuff who thinks there is some reward from it. I bought fresh fish that was rotten once, and was glad to see similar fish banned for consumption another time I came to the market she said. “Even those selling meat always cheat and will adjust their scales when they know control is out” she added.

By Abongwa Fozo

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