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Falae: FG trains armed rangers to protect farms
Leke Baiyewu, Abuja The Federal Government has said it is training 3,000 farm rangers who will be armed to protect major farmlands across Nigeria from invasion by herdsmen. It said the move became necessary after the repeated attacks on a former Minister of Finance and ex-Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, […]
“I know the 7th Senate did something on that and we in the 8th Senate equally did something on it and it was forwarded to the Executive for assent. I am surprised that it has not been assented to and it was even discussed at the FEC. Probably the Presidency is not aware of this,” he said.
“I think we need to double-check with the Office of the Special Assistant (to the President) on National Assembly Matters, whose duty is to know and see how this can be easily facilitated, to find out whether the transmission is where the problem is. But from the Executive side, I want to categorically say that this Procurement Act must be amended.”
“If there is any problem, it must be with the Executive; the National Assembly has already amended the Act. We harmonised it with the House of Representatives and sent it (to the Presidency) for assent. So, probably, the Federal Executive Council should raise this issue with the President so that the Act can be signed before it becomes stale.”
“They are trained by the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps; they are well armed and very soon they will start providing services for large-scale farmers who are the targets.”
A member of the committee, Senator Adamu Aliero, injected, “I am surprised that you are talking about the Procurement Act being responsible for the delay in the implementation of the budget. I know that we have amended this Act in order to shorten the time, so that contracts can be speedily awarded.
Aliero recalled that as of 2007 when he was a minister, it was almost impossible for ministers to process procurement of anything within six months. He said it was the reason why the Federal Executive Council chose to seek amendment to the Act.
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He said, “When this matter came up in FEC and I raised the issue that I heard
It said the move became necessary after the repeated attacks on a former Minister of Finance and ex-Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, and his farm in Ondo State.
Leke Baiyewu, Abuja
Lokpobiri however stated that the amended Act had not been transmitted to the Presidency.
Members of the committee grilled the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh; and the Minister of State for Agriculture,  Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, for almost two hours on issues bordering on poor implementation of the budget, slow execution of projects and efforts by the current administration to diversify the economy from petroleum to agriculture.
Ogbeh said, “In anticipation of what we knew would happen to people on their farms, after what they did to Chief Falae, we have now in partnership with the Ministry of Interior created what we call the agro rangers. The minister in charge, Gen. Abdulrahaman Dambazau (retd.), is putting together 3,000 of them.
that the Procurement Act amendment had been completed and had since been forwarded to Mr. President for assent, the answer was that he had not received it.
The Federal Government has said it is training 3,000 farm rangers who will be armed to protect major farmlands across Nigeria from invasion by herdsmen.
The lawmakers asked what the Federal Government was doing to protect farmers against the rising insecurity on farmlands.
The meeting started on a dramatic note when Ogbeh lamented that the delay in the amendment of the Procurement Act was slowing down the implementation of the ministry’s budget and the execution of its projects.
This was made known at an interactive session between the Senate Committee on Agriculture and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture on the implementation of the 2017 budget of the ministry.
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