The Minister of Agriculture and Rural
Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has inaugurated the joint technical
task team on emergency response to COVID-19. The Joint task team is to
facilitate the free and unhindered movement of food, livestock and agricultural
inputs and farmer’s movement across the nation during the lockdown and 2020
farming season to avoid food crises.

Speaking during the inauguration in
Abuja today, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono, charged the committee ‘’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’’.

Nanono pointed out that ‘’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’’ as a result of the
unavoidable enforcement of restriction orders.

This he said have resulted in food
scarcity and negatively affected the nation’s agricultural production.

The Minister stated that an emergency
meeting with the Ministers of Defence, Interior and Police Affairs deliberated
and articulated a common agenda towards ensuring the minimal impact of COVID-19
on this year’s farming season in line with the directives of Mr. President and
has prompted the Joint Task Technical Team inaugurated today.

Responding on behalf of the Joint
Technical Task Team, the Committee Chairman, Assistant Inspector General of
Police, (Operations), Austin Agbonlahor, pledged the committee’s commitment to
the tasks 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 Crops – Member,
Umar Farouk Mudi, National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN)
– Member, Representative, Nigeria Army – Member, Mr. Chris Isizuzo, National
Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ), Ibikunle Tajudeen Barruwa,
National President, NURTW – Member and Zubariu Abdullahi, Director, Planning
and Policy Coordination, FMARD – Secretary and it’s Terms of Reference are as
follows:

• to work with relevant agencies in
the States and Local Government Areas to develop a window that will facilitate the
free and unhindered movement of food, livestock and Agricultural inputs without
compromising the security and health of the nation.

• to issue out clear instruction to
all the security personnel in the three internal security outfits of police,
civil defence and the army on the need to allow the free and unhindered
movement of foodstuff, livestock and Agricultural inputs to all parts of
Nigeria.

• to work with the National Union of
Roads Transport Workers (NURTW), to adequately educate its members in ensuring
that vehicles conveying foodstuff, livestock and Agricultural inputs (excluding
passengers) are allowed to pass and

• to ensure that adequate information
clarifying the controlled movement of foodstuff, livestock and Agricultural
inputs is disseminated by the media to food transporters and security
personnel.