The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development – Chief Audu Ogbeh has assured Nigerian farmers that there would be no mandatory fees for protecting them and their farms under the Civil Defence Corps special force unit being planned in conjunction with the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
He gave the assurance today while reacting to a news report published in a daily newspaper and circulated in the social media alleging that he said Nigerian farmers would be made to pay fees to be protected under the scheme.
The claims, which have generated huge controversies and unnecessary anxieties, were drawn from a media report after the Honourable Minister’s media interview at the State House, following the endorsement of the Road map of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Green Alternative.
The Minister wishes to reassure Nigerian farmers that no security fees will be imposed on them, and that the government will continue to protect and support them with relevant incentives to help them grow and stay in business, adding that the special unit force idea was primarily conceived to protect Nigerian farmers in fulfilment of government’s responsibility to secure the lives and properties of its citizens, in addition to providing security at the proposed ranches to guard against rustlers and prevent the cows from wandering around.
For the avoidance of doubt, and to clear the confusion that has been generated by the media report, the Honourable Minister wishes to state unequivocally that the NSCDC officials will be available on request by big farm corporation especially those in which the owners live, who can apply for them just as big companies and corporate organisations apply, requesting for security personnel to secure their businesses for a token.
Chief Ogbeh urges the Nigerian public to therefore ignore the mischievous stories in circulation that the Minister will impose some fees on all farmers, big and small, for security services to be offered by the NSCDC. He further encourages Nigerians to remain hopeful that with the implementation of the new policy roadmap for Nigeria’s Agricultural development, the economy will improve and the present food crisis and hardship being faced by Nigerians will be over.