December 5, 2021

NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA

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COVID-19: Minister cancels moringa stakeholders’ meeting due to overcrowding

Moringa

Moringa

By Bukola Adewumi

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Adeniyi Adebayo, on Wednesday, cancelled the stakeholders’ meeting organised of the proposed National Moringa Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria due to non-compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting, organised in Abuja, was aimed at setting up a constitution drafting committee for the proposed association.

NAN also reports that the meeting, designed to bring together all moringa-related associations in the country, witnessed an overwhelming crowd which forced the ministry to cancel it.

Announcing the decision to cancel the meeting, Deputy Director, Commodities in the ministry, Mr Kaura Irimiya, said that the ministry never envisaged the high turnout of participants at the meeting; otherwise, a bigger hall would have been arranged.

He said that the minister had earlier sent some observers to the meeting and asked that the meeting be cancelled due to non-compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

“We were not looking at this at this kind of number before and you know we have COVID-19 restrictions which only very few people are observing here. It is not conducive for any of us. In fact, none of us is safe here.

“The minister had sent some people to come and observe the meeting and they asked me to tell you that this meeting cannot continue. We are going to invite you later but it will be done on zonal representation,” he stated.

Speaking with journalists after the cancellation of the meeting, President of Eden Moringa Multi-purpose Cooperative Society, Mr Michael Ashimashigha, said that he was in support of the development due to overcrowding.

He said that the moringa sub-sector needed an association that would look at what the farmers were producing and ensure that they were carried along.

“Our plan is to make sure we have an association and a standing committee that will really look at what we are producing and ensure that the farmers are captured.

“But, the meeting had to be postponed due to lack of coordination. People were invited from all over the country, even though today is not an election day for the association but to just set up a committee that will draft the association’s constitution.

According to him, the ministry is right to cancel the meeting because the hall is too small to host the number of people who came for the meeting.

“With the number of people in the hall vis-à-vis COVID-19 protocols, there is no way the meeting can go ahead. So it is good that government has decided to cancel it. We have no problem with that decision,” he added. (NAN)