The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Monday inaugurated its agro-rangers unit to protect agro-allied investments in the state.
Speaking at the inauguration in Lafia, the commandant of the corps, Mohammed Mahmoud-Fari, said that 313 officers of the command were specially trained for the purpose.
Mahmoud-Fari said that the unit was principally established to protect agro-allied investments, such as livestock, farm produce as well as to mitigate farmer and herders clashes.
“Food security is a necessity that cannot be compromised, hence the need for us to collectively provide conducive environment for agricultural production to thrive,” he said.
He also said that apart from the agro-rangers unit, the command had embarked on various training exercises for its officers and men for optimum performance.
According to him, 5,513 personnel of the command had been trained on firearm handling and counter terrorism.
Mahmoud-Fari further said that the ongoing two-day symposium organised by the command, in collaboration with the state chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association, was intended to keep the personnel physically and psychologically healthy to perform their duties.
Gov. Abdullahi Sule, while inaugurating the unit, commended the Federal Ministry of Interior and that of Agriculture and Rural Development for the initiative.
Sule, represented by his deputy, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, said that the idea was conceived to give effect to President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to food security.
Sule charged the officers of the unit to live up to their responsibility of protecting agro-allied investments.
“It is our expectation that the officers trained for this purpose would justify the enormous resources expended in giving them the additional skills needed to make a safe haven for agro businesses to thrive,” he said.
He described the establishment of the unit as apt, given that Nasarawa was one of the states benefiting from the National Livestock Transformation Programme, initiated by the National Economic Council.
The governor expressed his administration’s commitment to NSCDC and other security agencies to ensure the protection of lives and property as well as guarantee peaceful co-existence in the state.
The Emir of Lafia, Alhaji Sidi Bage-Muhammad, commended the NSCDC for initiating measures geared toward the protection of agro-allied investment.
Bage-Muhammad said that both crop and animal farmers were in dire need of protection to guarantee increased production.
He assured the NSCDC of the support of traditional rulers toward the success of the unit in the state.