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17 April 2020

COVID-19: Extortion By Police, Security Operatives a Major Challenge to Supply of Essential Commodities

The Federal Government has expressed concerns over the alleged extortion and delay of legitimately certified transporters by men of the Nigeria Police, military and other security operatives nationwide.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Nasir Sani-Gwarzo said the challenge has served as a huge obstacle to the directives by President Muhammadu Buhari on the delivery of food and essential commodities across the country to alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He expressed this in Abuja while receiving reports from the Emergency Operation Centre of the Committee on Sustainable Production and Delivery of Essential Commodities During COVID-19 domiciled in the Ministry.

The Permanent Secretary who also doubles as the Supervisor of the EOC said despite reporting the development to the higher authorities of the Nigeria Police and the Security Task Force of COVID-19, the complaint persists.

“It is very unfortunate that despite the intervention and reports of the police extortion, the military and other security to their heads,
the situation still persist.”

“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” he said.

The Emergency Operation Centre has so far received a total of fifty-five cases across the country, fifty-four of which have been resolved at the level of the Committee.

Sixty-eight percent of these interventions according to the committee, are logistics related, and about twenty percent are market Intelligence issues, while other requests had to do with direct manufacturing operations and retail.

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