By Abubakar Hassan 

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Niger State Liquor Licensing Board has sought the support of the state command of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to fight illegal sale and consumption of alcohol in the state.
The Chairman of the state Liquor Board, Alhaji Liman Muhammed Shafi’i, made the request when he led members of the board on courtesy visit to the state command of the security agency in Minna, recently.
He informed the state Commandant of NSCDC that the state has laws as regards to sales and consumption of alcohol, and that the board was established in 2003 to regulate activities of the sales and consumption of alcohol; thereby minimizing the rate of crime in the state.
The Chairman further stated that beer parlours were dens of criminals and that to reduce crime to its barest minimum, there was the need to cut the motivating factor, saying “When you regulate and reduce the sale of alcoholic drinks you would be able to reduce crime rate.” He added that the state has enacted law and gazetted it as far back as 2003, explaining that the law divided the state into two areas as regards to sales and consumption of alcohol. He said that one of the areas comprising of Minna, Kontagora, Bida, Suleja, New Bussa, Mokwa, Lapai, Agaie and Kagara were all strictly prohibited and that alcohol can only be sold eight Kilometres away from these areas.
The Chairman disclosed further that in the second category, a producer/brewer or seller was allowed to operate after fulfilling certain conditions and that the board had to issue him a license to operate.
He said the board had observed that there were indiscriminate sales of alcohol in these prohibited areas, particularly in Minna and its environs, adding that they were in the NSCDC office to partner and solicit for support of the security agency to fight illegal sales and consumption of alcohol thereby reducing the rate of crime in the state.
In his response, the state Commandant of NSCDC, Mr. Philip Ayuba told the Liquor Board Chairman that there was an existing relationship between NSCDC and the board, saying they worked harmoniously with his predecessor and that similar gesture will continue.
He said it was a good thing to have a crime free society, and that as security agency, they were always not happy if there are crises in the society because their mind will not be at rest.
Commandant Ayuba said that they were out to serve the paople, and that NSCDC and the Liquor Board were one family because they were fighting for the same cause that is a crime free society.
He appreciated the visit by the board members and that his command was ever ready to respond anytime they were called upon.

TAURARUWA