By Yahaya Isah
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has pledged the readiness of his ministry to partner with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to enhance food security in the country.
The Director of Press in the ministry, Mrs Blessing Lere-Adams, who made this known in a statement on Friday in Abuja, said Aregbesola gave the pledge when he received his agriculture ministry counterpart, Alhaji Mohammed Nanono, and his team, in his office.
The minister stated that the Federal Government could not afford to relent in its efforts of ensuring the security and safety of farmers at all levels, and the seamless movement of farm produce across the country.
“The enormous responsibilities we carry as senior members of the present administration make it necessary for us to ensure that we provide adequate security to prevent calamities that may arise from food shortages in the land.”
Aregbesola commended the efforts of the Agro-Rangers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), in providing security for farmers in the North-East, especially in Borno.
The minister noted that the corps had received tremendous support from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development over the years, in enhancing the continuous flow of commodities from that part of the country.
“You have a worthy partner in achieving your mission and the mandate of your ministry,” he told his visitor.
Earlier, Nanono decried the challenges posed to trade in agricultural commodities, particularly, farmers-herders clashes, illegal taxes along the roads, delays associated with road blocks along major national highways, in addition to the nefarious activities of groups, who obstruct the free flow of goods and occasionally attack merchandise and traders.
Nanono added that the challenges were seriously contributing to post-harvest losses, causing high prices of agricultural commodities, thereby contributing to the general insecurity in Nigeria.
He reiterated that the purpose of his visit was to seek the cooperation of the Ministry of Interior and its agencies towards addressing these various challenges that were hampering food sufficiency in the country.
The minister called on Aregbesola to direct relevant security establishments under his watch, to ensure security of lives and property along Federal highways, agricultural communities and major agricultural markets across the country.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr Shuaib Belgore, assured the visiting minister and his team of adequate support by the interior ministry and its agencies, in ensuring improved food sufficiency and security in the country. (NAN)