The complaints from the traders against extortion of their businesses are understandably justifiable given the fact that the National Bureau of Standards is not a sub-branch of NRA or Custom Authority. The role of National Bureau of Standards is that it is the mandated body responsible for enforcing standards of protection of public commodities, public health, safety and environment including other essential services. The work by the bureau has nothing to do with collection of monies in the hands of traders, leave alone extorting any, but this has become a very visible character of some institutions in the country wherever they cross paths with the business people. The proclivity of extorting money from ordinary citizens and the temptations of stealing money whether from private or public coffers can never be resisted. The elements within the National Bureau of Standards have realized that impunity reigns high and the sad truth is that no matter how much money disappears, no one will be held accountable. The traders are just victims of systemic rot in the institutional mechanisms of the justice system of the country. Good news is that there are remedies for these uncharacteristic and evil behaviors. First, there is need for change of attitudes from the civil servants, the persons holding positions in public offices and from private individuals to stamp out the evil culture of corrupt thinking and corrupt practices. Second, there is also urgent need for payment of civil servant wages in time. Last and definitely not least, the justice system should be strengthened so that anyone found to have committed economic crimes or any other related criminal offences must be arrested, arraigned in court and charged accordingly. Enforce the law to deter would-be offenders.

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