The Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Joseph Mukan, has assured that the movement of those transporting food items including livestock to Rivers State will no longer be disrupted.
CP Mukan spoke during the inauguration of the ‘Joint Technical Task Force Team on Emergency Response to COVID-19 on Challenges on Movement of Food and Agricultural inputs in the Country’ at the command’s headquarters on Moscow road.
Mukan who is the state Chairman of the task force team, while charging the members to ensure full compliance on the terms of reference by the federal government also urged the members to fashion out ways of ensuring that food items are made surplus and those conveying them move freely.
“This is to say that during this period of COVID-19, there are a lot of inconveniences most especially to the citizens on their necessities. So the government feels that they should be allowed to function.
“Food items we all know are basic necessities of life. So the government feels that during the lockdown which is almost everywhere, there is a need for citizens to get what they can get on the table for their families; most especially food items, Farmers should be allowed to move whenever they want to take their farm products.
“And that can be achieved possibly if we have an enforcement on the ground to ensure that such movements are not obstructed.
“So the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Agric through the fiat given to them by the President feel that each state should get an enforcement team to monitor the movement of this food items and other Agricultural products.
“In Rivers state, we are found worthy to form the Committee that will monitor the movement of these items without any hindrance. So today, we are being inaugurated formally and will swing into action immediately.
“Your terms of reference in respect to the operation of the team will be highlighted by the Coordinator. We are the team and we hope to expand,” Mukan said.
The State Coordinator of the team, E. Tobin highlighted the terms of reference which include; “Work with relevant agencies in the state and Local Government Areas to develop a window that will facilitate the free and unhindered movement of foodstuff, livestock and Agricultural inputs without compromising the security and health condition of the nation.
“Issue out clear instructions to all security personnel in the 3 internal security outfits of Police, Civil Defence and the Army with the need to allow the free and unhindered movement of foodstuff, livestock and agricultural inputs to all parts of Nigeria.
“Work with the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW to adequately educate members in ensuring that vehicles conveying foodstuff, livestock and agricultural inputs excluding passengers are allowed to pass.”
DAILY POST reports that officials of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, National Union of Road Transport Workers, Nigeria Union of Journalists are represented in the taskf orce.
Other members of the team include; a representative from the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners and Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.