- Herdsmen residing in the Mariga local government area of Niger have cried to the federal government that they are tired of roaming about
- The herdsmen said that they are ready to support any policy by the federal government to help them establish their businesses in a particular place
- Responding to their plea, the minister of agriculture and rural development, Audu Ogbeh, said that there are plans by the federal government to attend to their plight
Herdsmen of Bobii village in the Mariga local government area of Niger state have called on the federal government to establish a ranching system of livestock production.
The herdsmen made the call on Thursday, March 28, to the minister of agriculture, and rural development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, during his inspection visit in the area. They said that they are tired of roaming from place to place with their livestock, Leadership reports.
Malam Abu Mairiga, representing the herdsmen, the Fulani community leader of the village, said that they have vowed to throw their weight behind any policy that would make it possible for them to establish their businesses in a particular place.
In reply to their plea, the minister said that the federal government is serious with its plans to resettle herdsmen and end farmers/herders unrest.
Ogbeh said: “Our desire is to end this crisis. We don’t want a single life lost and, like you heard the farmers saying, they, too, want to settle down and live a decent life, send their children to school and live like every other Nigerian in comfort and make some money from their cattle and their milk and their hide; that is the whole idea.
“The herdsmen are farmers. The way we support maize farmers, rice farmers, beans farmers, cassava farmers, (the same way) we have to support them to settle down and then there will be peace in the country,” he said, even as he revealed that government had already approved funds for ranching.
“The president approved money, one money went through Federal Executive Council recently; another one will go through Council in two weeks’ time. We will be here implementing the programme, including the rural settlements we are going to build in these places for people to live in.
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“I am highly impressed with this, and I will take the report to the council, to tell them what we’ve done and I am asking the states that are willing, I emphasise (to go with providing ranching facilities); we are not forcing any state to do this.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that as part of efforts to address clashes between herdsmen and farmers, a 10-year National Livestock Transformation Plan had been initiated by the federal government.
The government's plan was expected to gulp about N91bn in investments and will yield a two trillion naira profit over the 10-year period.
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