- Hajiya Baheejah Mahmood said Fulani herdsmen contribute a lot to Nigeria's economy
- The Miyetti Allah woman leader said most of the infrastructure in the country are tilted towards other business people
- Mahmood said Nigerians will know their worth if the group decides to go on strike for a week
Hajiya Baheejah Mahmood who is the national woman leader of the Miyetti Allah group has claimed that Fulani herdsmen benefit next to nothing from the federal government.
In an interview with Tribune, the woman leader of the socio-cultural group said Fulani herdsmen contribute a lot to the economy of Nigeria.
Mahmood said the business of cattle rearing has made beef and dairy cheap for Nigerians thanks largely to Fulani herdsmen.
She said: “The Fulani contribute a lot to the economy of the country and its people. They provide the country with over 90 per cent of its meat requirement. The cattle provide beef; they rear chickens, guinea fowls, goat and sheep too. They contribute to the dairy (milk) production and supply of hides and skin of the country, which contributes to the GDP of the economy. The affordable meat and eggs consumed in Nigeria are largely as a result of the activities of the Fulani.
“During festivities of Muslims and Christians, and almost anything in-between, cattle, sheep and goats are used which are readily available as a result of the transhumance activities of the Fulani. All the products of the activities of the Fulani contribute to the nutritional enhancement of the country with provision of protein in form of meat, eggs and dairy.”
The woman leader said Fulani herdsmen however do not benefit anything from the government as most of the infrastructures in the country are used by other people.
She said Nigerians will know the worth of herdsmen if they fail to come to the market for a week.
Mahmood said: “The Fulanis as a people gain next to nothing from the government of the country. Because they are mostly on the move, the Fulani’s do not benefit from the provision of basic amenities such as schools, hospitals and roads. They hardly know the importance of infrastructural items such as electricity, tap or borehole water and bridges. In fact, the Fulani only “buy into” infrastructural and economic development programs that are targeted at some other population, but not those targeted specifically at them.
“Before a program is designed specifically targeting the Fulani, thousands may have been developed for the “regular” population. No one thinks about them and their welfare and those of their cattle, despite the huge direct and in-direct contributions they make to the employment creation drive of the government. Groups such as butchers, traders in cattle and other animals, traders in hides and skin, makers of leather shoes and bags; and yoghurt-producing companies all depend on the animal product of the Fulani.
“What the Fulani need is a kind of public/private partnership (PPP) arrangement with the government to boost the production of the animals and their products. For example, if the Fulani should decide not to bring their livestock to the market for one week, all Nigerians will then know and appreciate their contribution to the economy and the well-being of Nigerians.”
Meanwhile, the Oyo state government has charged the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) to register their true members in the state.
Legit.ng's regional reporter in Ibadan, Ridwan Kolawole, reports that the state commissioner for agriculture and rural development, Muyiwa Ojekunle, said the registration of true members of MACBAN in the state would help to avert future clash between herders and farmers.
Ojekunle said registration of MACBAN's members would enable the government to identify those who are genuinely residing in the state and those who perpetrate crimes.
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