Essential items : Perm Sec raises alarm over Police extortion

By Felix Khanoba

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, has raised alarm over the alleged extortion and delay of legitimately certified transporters of essential commodities by men of the Nigeria Police, military and other law enforcement agencies in the country.

He said the alleged action of the security operatives negates the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari on free movement of foods and essential commodities across the country despite the lockdown in some states as a result of coronavirus pandemic.

Sani-Gwarzo, who stated this in Abuja while receiving briefs from the Emergency Operation Centre of the Committee on Sustainable Production and Delivery of Essential

Commodities During COVID-19 domiciled in the Ministry, said free movement of essential commodities would reduce the impact of the pandemic.

He said despite reporting the alleged extortion to the higher authority of the Nigeria Police and the Security Task Force of COVID-19, the complaint still persist.

“It is very unfortunate that despite the intervention and escalation of the police extortion and that by the military and other security to their heads, the situation still persists.

“This is a great blow to the noble directive of the President for a free-flow and unhindered movement of Essential Commodity across the country, but we will not stop until the situation is addressed,” the Permanent Secretary, who also doubles as the Supervisor of the EOC, said.

Speaking further, Sani-Gwarzo said the Emergency Operation Centre has so far received a total of 55 cases across the country, 54 of which have been resolved at the level of the Committee.

The AUTHORITY reports that 68percent of the interventions are logistics related, and about 20 percent are market Intelligence issues where supply and demand were paired to keep production afloat, even as other requests had to do with direct manufacturing operations and some requests were retail related.

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