James Emejo in Abuja
The Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebay yesterday said there had been tremendous success in the supply of essential commodities across the country in spite of the restriction of movement as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Initial reports had suggested that several factors had obstructed the smooth delivery of essential items following the recent lock down announced by President Muhammadu Buhari to curtail the spread of the virus.
Security operatives were particularly accused of harassing approved transporters of basic essential items.
However, speaking after receiving briefs from the Manager, Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), Mr. Battah Ndirpaya, the minister noted that his ministry received and resolved a total of 32 cases of complaints on challenges being faced on the effective supply/delivery of essential commodities across the country.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr. Nasir Sani- Gwarzo, he said 27 per cent of the cases involved delivery of food items, 40 per cent were on essential items while 33 per cent bothered on logistics and manufacturing items.
In a statement by Deputy Director, Press, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Ibrahim Haruna, the minister, however, commended the security agencies for their support and appealed to the state governors to direct their ministries of trade and industry or any relevant agencies to collaborate with the security agencies or special task force on COVID-19 to facilitate easy movement and distribution of food products and other essential commodities as approved by Buhari.
He said a breakdown of the cases by geo-political zones revealed that 27 per cent are from the North-Central, 24 per cent from the South- East, 31 per cent from the South-West while the South-South region accounted for 17 per cent.
According to him 13.7 per cent of the cases in the North-West pertained to the delivery of essential items, while 10.3 per cent were manufacturing related cases among others.