COVID-19: Kwara police boss advises officers to allow free movement of farm produce

Kwara state Commissioner of Police and Chairman Joint Technical Task Team on COVID-19 to ease the movement of food items and agricultural inputs, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun has directed security agencies manning border communities across the state to allow unhindered passage of food items and agricultural produce.

Speaking with journalists during a sensitisation visit to border communities in Jebba and Ote in Kwara state on Wednesday, the police coommissioner said the essence of setting up the presidential committee was to allow unhindered passage of food items and agricultural produce amidst the ban on inter-state travels.

Although, the he expressed concerns over reported cases of violation of the travel ban by some truck drivers smuggling passengers with food items, he said security agencies should manage the situation without hindering the movement of trucks conveying food items and agricultural inputs.

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“The security agents don’t have problems with giving unhindered passage to drivers carrying food items and agricultural inputs, but have problems with the drivers using the exemption giving to them to violate the ban on inter-state commuting,” he said.

He explained that the committee was inaugurated in the state in line with the directive of the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture  in order to ensure free movement of agricultural goods.

“That is why we are here to sensitive you on the need to allow easy passage of food items and agricultural products and livestock. That it is an important aspect of our assignment,” the JTTT chairman added.

Also fielding questions from journalists, his counterpart in the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Commandant Bello Ale, expressed delight that the synergy amongst the security agencies had allowed for effective strategy in carrying out the JTTT operations assuring that the committee will achieve it mandate.

State Coordinator, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Secretary of the JTTT, Mr. Dare Oladapo, advocated for the sustainability of such operations beyond post pandemic era to ensure all year round availability of food items and agricultural inputs.

In their separate reactions , representatives of the National Union of Road Transport Workers( NURTW ), Alhaji Abdulsalam  Alaburo, National Union of Transport Owners (MARTO), Alhaji Abdulrauf Atoyebi and All Farmers Association of Nigieria (AFAN) agreed to work with the committee to achieve its mandate.

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