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Officers disobeying NGF directive on allowing manufacturers unhindered movement—MAN

Some security agents are disobeying the directive of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGE) to grant manufacturers of certain products free movement in some states as the lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus continues, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) says.

The NGF and President Muhammadu Buhari had granted manufacturers of drugs, food and beverages the permission to move around to forestall shortage of essential items during the lockdown.

In a statement mailed to BusinessDay, the association says the directive of the NGF has yielded good outcomes in some states but adds that security operatives in some other states do not allow manufacturers unhindered movement. No state or security organ is mentioned in the statement.

Lagos and Ogun states, including the Federal Capital Territory, are on lockdown. There have been restrictions in states such as Anambra, Osun, Oyo and a few others. Coronavirus cases have been on the rise in Africa’s most populous nation with over 190 cases.

 “Since the decision to lock down economic activities by different states and the eventual national declaration by the President of Nigeria, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has maintained consistent talks with relevant government stakeholders on the survival and sustenance of livelihood of Nigerians via the operation of critical manufacturing sector and has indeed yielded positive results,” MAN says.

“The food, beverage, pharmaceutical and other complementing sectors that make the value chain of essential products available are very critical and the association is glad that government recognised this critical role in its directive for 14days lockdown,” MAN adds.

“Let me add that the directive of the NGF has yielded good outcomes in some states as our members have testified to unhindered operations in the face of the lockdown. But notwithstanding, some security operatives in other states are not yielding particularly, the rank and file officers on the field.”

The association says it is in talks with the NGF to give the necessary directives for adequate sensitisation of security officers to enable them allow unhindered movement by manufacturers’ vehicles.

“While the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria continues to play its role as an advocacy body committed to creating friendly business environment for manufacturers, we can only rely on the government to reciprocate by implementing the suggestions of MAN on the support for the sector during this era of Corona virus pandemic,” MAN further says.

ODINAKA ANUDU

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