The 36 states governors have pledged their commitment to ensure that the operations of manufacturers of essential good and services are unhindered during the period of the lockdown in the country.

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), was quoted as giving the assurance in a letter signed by the forum’s Chairman and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, written to the manufacturers.

In a statement signed by Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, Head, Media and Public Affairs of NGF Secretariat, on Tuesday in Abuja, Fayemi assured the continuous operations for food, beverage, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies.

The governors, according to the statement also threw their weights behind making essential goods and services available to the citizenry, throughout the lockdown period.

This was a fallout of the concerted efforts by governors to bring succour to Nigerians during the lockdown and ensure that the remedy did not ultimately turn out to be counter-productive.

The governors noted that the decision was reached “considering the crucial role played by manufacturers in ensuring the production of essential items.

“Following careful and deliberate consideration we are pleased to convey to you our full support to ensure that your operations continue unhindered.”

The forum noted that decision was also taken to guarantee the continued effective and efficient movement of essential foods, beverages and medical supplies as well as attendant essential services.

“We note that the whole value chain from farmers to suppliers of raw materials, from manufacturers to suppliers of packaging materials, transporters, distributors, sales teams and retailers should continue with their lawful operations within the confines of the law.

It added that the governors reasoned that key players in the industry whose products were critical to the daily existence of Nigerians would need some waiver to continue to move their products around the country without hinderance.

The letter reads: “In view of the essential nature of food, beverage and pharmaceuticals, all Parastatals and agencies of state governments have been advised as follows:

“To guarantee the continued effective and efficient movement of essential foods, beverages and medical supplies as well as attendant essential services.

“The whole value chain from farmers to suppliers of raw materials, from manufacturers to suppliers of packaging materials, transporters, distributors, sales teams and retailers should continue with their lawful operations within the confines of law and to the extent that current realities permit.

“(a) The operations and activities of food, beverages, medical and pharmaceutical product companies and their suppliers of raw and packaging materials, transporters, distributors, sales team and retailers should not be hindered by officials or agents of the State Governments.

“(b) To ensure the safety of food, beverages, medical and pharmaceutical products and also that of the suppliers of raw and packaging materials, transporters, distributors, sales teams, retailers and other employees who will be on the road during this time;

“(c) To guarantee that the distribution and movement of raw and packaging materials and finished products of food, beverages, medical and pharmaceutical products from various points within and across States is seamless;

“(d) That in the event of closure of open markets or shops, clear alternatives are defined on how to get finished food, beverage and pharmaceutical products to consumers in their neighbourhoods;

“(e) The responsiveness of relevant agencies of the State Governments in playing their part fully in ensuring that what they need to do as prescribed by the law and extant regulations are carried out with dispatch.”

In order to regulate the operations and forestall abuse, the governors, however, directed all food, beverage, pharmaceutical and medical companies to adhere to certain caveats which include the following:

”Issue all suppliers and transporters a letter of authority confirming that they are authorised by you.

“All your staff need to ensure Identity Cards are carried at all time for all movements, with a copy of this letter of authority.

The 36 states governors have pledged their commitment to ensure that the operations of manufacturers of essential good and services are unhindered during the period of the lockdown in the country.

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), was quoted as giving the assurance in a letter signed by the forum’s Chairman and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, written to the manufacturers.

In a statement signed by Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, Head, Media and Public Affairs of NGF Secretariat, on Tuesday in Abuja, Fayemi assured the continuous operations for food, beverage, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies.

The governors, according to the statement also threw their weights behind making essential goods and services available to the citizenry, throughout the lockdown period.

This was a fallout of the concerted efforts by governors to bring succour to Nigerians during the lockdown and ensure that the remedy did not ultimately turn out to be counter-productive.

The governors noted that the decision was reached “considering the crucial role played by manufacturers in ensuring the production of essential items.

“Following careful and deliberate consideration we are pleased to convey to you our full support to ensure that your operations continue unhindered.”

The forum noted that decision was also taken to guarantee the continued effective and efficient movement of essential foods, beverages and medical supplies as well as attendant essential services.

“We note that the whole value chain from farmers to suppliers of raw materials, from manufacturers to suppliers of packaging materials, transporters, distributors, sales teams and retailers should continue with their lawful operations within the confines of the law.

It added that the governors reasoned that key players in the industry whose products were critical to the daily existence of Nigerians would need some waiver to continue to move their products around the country without hinderance.

The letter reads: “In view of the essential nature of food, beverage and pharmaceuticals, all Parastatals and agencies of state governments have been advised as follows:

“To guarantee the continued effective and efficient movement of essential foods, beverages and medical supplies as well as attendant essential services.

“The whole value chain from farmers to suppliers of raw materials, from manufacturers to suppliers of packaging materials, transporters, distributors, sales teams and retailers should continue with their lawful operations within the confines of law and to the extent that current realities permit.

“(a) The operations and activities of food, beverages, medical and pharmaceutical product companies and their suppliers of raw and packaging materials, transporters, distributors, sales team and retailers should not be hindered by officials or agents of the State Governments.

“(b) To ensure the safety of food, beverages, medical and pharmaceutical products and also that of the suppliers of raw and packaging materials, transporters, distributors, sales teams, retailers and other employees who will be on the road during this time;

“(c) To guarantee that the distribution and movement of raw and packaging materials and finished products of food, beverages, medical and pharmaceutical products from various points within and across States is seamless;

“(d) That in the event of closure of open markets or shops, clear alternatives are defined on how to get finished food, beverage and pharmaceutical products to consumers in their neighbourhoods;

“(e) The responsiveness of relevant agencies of the State Governments in playing their part fully in ensuring that what they need to do as prescribed by the law and extant regulations are carried out with dispatch.”

In order to regulate the operations and forestall abuse, the governors, however, directed all food, beverage, pharmaceutical and medical companies to adhere to certain caveats which include the following:

”Issue all suppliers and transporters a letter of authority confirming that they are authorised by you.

“All your staff need to ensure Identity Cards are carried at all time for all movements, with a copy of this letter of authority.

“All organisations to ensure compliance to all COVID-19 guidelines on social distancing, personal and respiratory hygiene for the safety of individuals and the community at large.”

It added that the suppliers and their operators were to be provided with toll free numbers they could call, in case they had any problems during the course of performing their duties.

 

 

By Remi Koleoso/Donald Ugwu,
NAN

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