By Felix Khanoba
The Federal Government has again assured of its readiness to ensure regular production and distribution of essential commodities across the country despite the lockdown put in place to curtail the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, said the production and movement of food, medical, pharmaceutical and agro-allied products would continue unhindered to meet the needs of every Nigerian.
He stated this in Abuja on Wednesday at his weekly update on the performance of the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) of the Committee on Sustainable Production and Delivery of Essential Commodities During COVID-19.
A statement made available to newsmen by spokesman of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Ibrahim Haruna, quoted the minister as saying that despite initial challenges faced as a result of Inter-State border closure, the Ministry is constantly engaging relevant stakeholders to ensure free-flow of essential cargo within the country and at the ports of arrival.
“I am happy to announce that we have also set up a Post C-19, Industry, Trade and Investment Sustainability Committee that will review the FMITI goals and propose strategic adjustments after applying lessons learnt and recommendations from the COVID-19 outbreak,” the Minister added.
Adebayo applauded the efforts of EOC members in their prompt response in resolving incidents that would have hindered the free flow of essential commodities.
Also speaking, the Minister of State, Amb. Mariam Katagum, said the EOC, which is domiciled in the Ministry, has received 55 requests for intervention across the country out of which 54 have been resolved.
“68per percent of these interventions are logistics related, and about 20percent of the interventions are market intelligence issues where we have been able to pair supply and demand to keep production afloat.
“Other requests had to do with direct manufacturing operations and some requests were retail related,” Katagum said.
On his part, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, lauded the leadership qualities of the ministers, saying ” if we didn’t have this kind of leadership, we wouldn’t have been where we are today.”
The Permanent Secretary also commended stakeholders such as; National Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) Abuja and others, for their support and cooperation in the Ministry’s quest to ensure the supply chain of essential items in the country is not negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.