Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has suspended the plan by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to build Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) settlements in some states across Nigeria.
The Chairman of the National Food Security/Herders/Farmers Conflict, Governor Dave Umahi, briefing State House correspondents at the end of a meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, stated that the suspension “is owing to lack of consistency with the NEC and FG approved national livestock transformation plan, which has programme of rehabilitation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) resulting from the crisis and development of ranching in any willing state.”
The governor added that “the NEC says it is not compulsory and any state willing is required to put up a development plan towards the implementation in line with the NEC program based on the challenges inherent there.”
Those at the meeting were governors of Ebonyi, Dave Umahi, Plateau, Simon Lalong, Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu and Adamawa Deputy Governor, Bala Ngilari.
The National Livestock Transformation Plan approved by state governors under the auspices of the National Economic Council (NEC) is chaired by the Vice President.
The NEC had on January 17 approved the plan based on the recommendations of a Technical Committee of the Council chaired by the Governor of Ebonyi State.
Other state governors on the committee and Working Group of the NEC are those od Adamawa, Kaduna, Benue, Taraba, Edo, Plateau, Oyo and Zamfara – mostly frontline states in the Farmer-Herder crises.
Osinbajo spokesman Laolu Akande had, in a statement to exonerate the Vice President as being the brain behind Ruga implementation, explained that:
“The National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) 2019-2028 is a programme to be implemented in 7 pilot states of Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara (as decided by NEC in January), being States in the frontlines of the Farmer-Herder crises. Afterwards, six other States have indicated readiness to also implement the plan. They are Katsina, Kano, Kogi, Kwara, Ondo, and Edo states.
“The plan has six pillars through which it aims to transform the livestock production system in Nigeria along market oriented value chain, while ensuring an atmosphere of peace and justice.
“The six key pillars include: economic investment, conflict resolution, justice and peace, humanitarian relief and early recovery, human capital development and cross-cutting issues such as gender, youth, research and information and strategic communication.” (The Sun)
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