President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono and other key players of the sector to join the already existing 12-member Presidential Task Force (PTF), as a strategy to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on the year’s farming season.
President Buhari disclosed this on Monday while addressing Nigerians for the second time since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The president directed the ministers to develop a comprehensive policy for a ‘Nigerian Economy functioning with COVID-19.’
“I am also directing the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, the National Security Adviser, the Vice Chairman, National Food Security Council and the Chairman, Presidential Fertiliser Initiative to work with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to ensure the impact of this pandemic on our 2020 farming season is minimised,” he said.
“To ensure our economy adapts to this new reality, I am directing the Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investment, Communication and Digital Economy, Science and Technology, Transportation, Aviation, Interior, Health, Works and Housing, Labour and Employment and Education to jointly develop a comprehensive policy for a “Nigerian economy functioning with COVID-19,” he said.
He said the ministers will be supported by the Presidential Economic Advisory Council and Economic Sustainability Committee in executing this mandate.
Before now, the chairman of the PTF, Boss Mustapha, had announced the president’s directive to release 70,000 metric tons of grains from the strategic grain reserve for distribution to vulnerable groups in the country.
According the statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Nanono announced the commencement of the grain and other food items distribution.
He said his ministry had handed over 12,500 metric tons of food rations to the minister of humanitarian affairs, Sadiya Farouq, from the National Strategic Food Reserve Silo in Minna, Niger State.
He said over 2,500 metric tons of garri was evacuated by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for distribution to vulnerable Nigerians in the three states affected by the lockdown – Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory.