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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

… declares zero tolerance on cocoa smuggling

By Fatima Muraina

Ondo State government has declared a zero tolerance over smuggling ungraded cocoa out of the state to neighbouring states.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry, Mr. Olayato Aribo made this known at a meeting held with Produce Officers at the Ministry’s headquarters in Akure.

He charged Officers in the produce sub-sector of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to be more vigilant and committed to their duties .

According to a statement signed by Press Officer of the Ministry, Sola Omoboyowa, the Commissioner commended the officers on their performance last year, urging them to redouble their efforts this year by meeting and surpassing the set targets for improved revenue generation.

The Commissioner who noted that the department was the major revenue generating sector in the ministry, stressed that all hands must be on deck  to surpass previous records.

He told the officers to also focus on other cash crops to boost the revenue they were generating from the field through proper monitoring at control posts.

The Commissioner, therefore promised to look into various challenges they were confronted with on the fields with a view to finding solutions to them.

Responding, the Director of Produce, Mr. Adefulire Adeyemi said the Produce sub-sector performed excellently well in  unprecedented increase in revenue generation, a feat he attributed to hardworking on the part of the staff.

He added that the ministry was expected to grade at least 100,000 metric tons of cocoa in the year 2022.

Mr. Adeyemi said produce regulators faced  the challenge of mobility which hampers efficiency and service delivery.

Speaking on behalf of the Officers, Mr. Clement Disegha, harped on the need for government to provide adequate security support for officers on the field, saying armed security operatives would help them to achieve proper monitoring as well as effect arrests when and where necessary.

He added that security operatives should be attached to them at every control posts, noting that smuggling was being done mostly at night.

His words: “We work on information and intelligence but lack of armed security personnel is hindering our operations”

He however promised that they will put in their best and cooperate with government to achieve the desired goals.




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