Nigeria sets up taskforce to ease movement of consumer products


* Agric Ministry designs mechanisms for providing special passes for easy transportation of perishable items, farm inputs, livestock, fish ─Nanono
Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect
Consequent upon the ongoing Coronavirus-induced total lockdown in Lagos and Ogun States as well as Abuja, FCT, and the reported attendant logistical challenges which farmers and retail outlets are facing in transporting their goods to marketplaces, the Federal Government will soon establish a joint task force to ensure unrestricted movement of farm produce and other products across the country.

Sabo Nanono, Honourable Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, disclosed this in a 10-point communiqué issued after a meeting on Emergency Response to COVID-19 Monday, April 20, in Abuja, says agency report.

Nanono said it was resolved that law enforcement agents under the guidance of the four ministries would set up joint technical task team to draw guidelines for proper operations.

The Minister stated that the guidelines would ensure proper operation of grains markets, livestock and poultry markets, and dealers cum sellers of agricultural inputs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He further noted that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development would work with various farmers’ associations, crop producers’ association, poultry farmers’ association and tractor services association.

He added that the move was to help design mechanisms for providing special passes to be recognised by security agencies to facilitate free movement of perishable food items, farm inputs, livestock and fish.

Nanono pointed out that the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) would be engaged in the task force strategy for effectiveness.

He stated: “A Joint Technical Task Force to work with State Commissioners of Police, Commandants of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and other senior military officials to respond rapidly to reported logjam involving foodstuffs or livestock.

“The four ministers will convene a periodic review meeting to assess the situation and advise the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

“This opportunity should not be used to transport contraband items including illicit drugs, arms and ammunition,” he said.

The resolutions of the meeting would be communicated to the Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and “Chairman of Governors’ Forum and Chairman of ALGON for further action,” he said.

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