By Abdullahi Mohammed, Abuja
There’s the need for communities to do more to assist security agencies in tackling banditry and other crimes in the country, Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi state has said.
The governor said this while fielding questions State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.He said communities must realize that security personnel are also human beings who require support, especially by way of information.
“We we urge vigilance and support for security agencies. Security agencies are doing a great job but they are also human beings. They need a lot of support. “They need a lot of community support for information. They need a lot of community support for understanding because sometimes, we are all in a hurry when we are facing challenges. But the security agencies also have modus operandi.
“Sometimes, they get risk reports in places that 500 people are coming to attack and maybe the local DPO (Divisional Police Officer) can only mobilise 20 people. Already, that confronts him with a challenge. “So, they need truthful information. They need synergy with vigilante groups and community groups so that they can continue to respond more appropriately. And sometimes they need support with logistics. “Communities hardly reflect on all the logistic needs of security agencies. The government will never be able to provide enough.
“Much is being done. But it will never be enough for communities. And I’m sure in all communities, there are people who can support police,” he said.
The governor also spoke on the impacts of high exchange rate on availability of fertilizers for farmers.“We had a meeting in the Chief of Staff office on an issue related to food security because the Office of the Chief staff of Chief is the Secretariat for the National Food Security Council. And we will continue the meeting next week,” he said.
He said the President has directed that a way must be found to make fertilizer available. “The Presidential Fertiliser Initiative has been complicated by the changes in exchange rate. When it was started about four years ago, the official exchange rate was N305 to $1. And now, the official exchange rate is about N400, which is close to 25% increase. “But the President has directed that the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative Chairman and the Office of the Vice President and the Ministry of Agriculture should examine how fertiliser can still be made available close to the N5,000 selling price as possible. It may not be N5,000 but to as close as possible, even if that involves subsidizing,” he said.
He said there is no risk of food scarcity as a lot has been achieved in the agriculture sector in the last few years in terms of yields per hectare. “I think we are doing well. We are doing well in the sense that in the last few years, a lot of investment had been made into agriculture. And even for pre-existing producers, and farmers, a lot of knowledge has been imputed into agriculture such that yields per hectare have gone up.
“So, even while we still have setback in some places, with security affecting the ability of people to go to farms, the yield gain has more than compensated for those challenges. “And because prices have been strong for those in the agricultural sector, motivation to invest and even to buy inputs at slightly higher prices than hitherto is now accepted by those in the sector,” he said.