The Nigerian government on Friday said it had begun the process of ensuring agricultural products have easy access across the states.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, inaugurated the joint technical task team on emergency response to COVID-19 to ease the movement of agricultural inputs across Nigeria.
In a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Nanono said the team will facilitate the free and unhindered movement of agricultural products across the nation during the lockdown and 2020 farming season to avoid food crises.
“To facilitate the free movement of food, livestock and agricultural inputs nationwide to avoid food shortages and ensure minimal impact of COVID -19 on this year’s farming season,” he said of the team in the statement.
This development is coming after President Muhammadu Buhari directed Mr Nanono and other ministries to ensure that the lockdown does not affect the farming season.
The directive was issued during the declaration of the second phase of the lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun by Mr Buhari.
Mr Nanono said: “Numerous reports have been received by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on the problem faced by transporters of food, livestock and agricultural inputs in different parts of the country”.
He said “a result of the unavoidable enforcement of restriction orders is food scarcity which negatively impacted on the nation’s agricultural production.”
Mr Nanono said an emergency meeting with the Ministers of Defence, Interior and Police Affairs deliberated and articulated a common agenda towards ensuring minimal impact of COVID-19 on this year’s farming season in line with the directives of the President.
Responding on behalf of the team, its chairman, Assistant Inspector General of Police, (Operations), Austin Agbonlahor, pledged the committee’s commitment to the task ahead and promised to deliver on its mandate.
The Joint Technical Task Team is made up of the following members:
AIG Austin Agbonlahor, AIG P(Operations) – Chairman,
ACG Bunu Modu, Nigeria Security & Civil Defense Corps – Member,
Umar Farouk Mudi, National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) – Member, Representative
Nigeria Army – Member, Chris Isizuzo
National Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ), Ibikunle Barruwa,
National President, NURTW – Member
Zubariu Abdullahi, Director, Planning and Policy Coordination ,FMARD – Secretary