FG should fast-track national livestock plan, says Gombe governor
Governor of Gombe state, Inuwa Yahaya has called on the federal government to fast-track the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP).
The NLTP was introduced by the federal government to address the farmer-herder crisis in the country.
The ministry of agriculture on June said 22 states and the federal capital territory (FCT) have registered for the project.
This was stated on Wednesday by the governor after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Yahaya said the NLTP will help herders who wish to resettle in the north, if they leave the southern region as a result of the ban by some states on open grazing.
The governors of the southern region had issued a September 1 deadline for their states to ban open grazing — some states have passed the anti-open grazing bill into law.
According to the governor, Gombe will develop the Wawa-Zange grazing reserve for herders who wish to settle in the state.
“We discussed the issue of Wawa-Zange grazing reserve. I think it is the largest grazing reserve that is gazetted in the whole of Nigeria, totaling 144,000 hectares,” he said.
“I believe that Mr. President, earlier in 2020, precisely in his 2020 January speech, acknowledged and approved that the National Livestock Transformation Plan will take off with a model from Gombe, the Wawa-Zange reserve.
“But so far, nothing serious has been done on that, and with the recent outburst, with the position taken by governors of southern part of this country, there is the need for us to fast-track the process of building that place. So that in the event our people move in multitudes to come back to resettle, we will have space for them.
“We will avoid situations where there will be rancour and there will be no issues to do either with farmers and herders again, or issues to do with the herders themselves having problems because there isn’t any space for them to stay.”
The governor, who said he had requested funds from the federal government to carry out the project, refused to disclose the exact amount.
“We’ve requested funds. I believe that every other state will do so, because you need the resources in order to implement and there is scarcity of financial resources in the state,” he said.
“We’ve requested, but I will not tell you how much. But at least, we’ve submitted a proposal that is fully backed by a feasibility report that indicates what we require.
“With the size of Wasa-Zange — 144,000 hectares that is specifically meant for cattle and other livestock — really, there’s justification for government to put in money so that we can avoid this rancour and issues to do with farmers and herders that has already degenerated in some parts of the country to banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping for ransom.”
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