‘North alone can accommodate Ruga settlement plan’

Posted by Ahmed Tahir Ajobe, Minna | 2 July 2019 | 2,541 times

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• Niger State SSG Malam Ibrahim Matane

Northern states have the potentials to accommodate the federal government’s Ruga settlement plan, according to Niger State government.

Ruga settlements are conceived by the Federal Government to address the incessant clashes between farmers and herders in the country.

In an interactive session with newsmen on Monday, in Minna, the Secretary to the Niger State Government (SSG), Malam Ahmed Ibrahim Matane said the North had the largest land mass in the country with greater portion largely untapped.

Matane added that Northern state governors, in collaboration with the federal government, should put the land into judicious use through the Ruga settlement initiative.

He said the initiative could look at the possibility of reactivating the structures already put in place by the defunct Northern Region government through the many grazing reserves that abound in the North.

According to him, most of the reserves had been gazetted with already developed structures but abandoned, adding that they should be rehabilitated and upgraded for use. He pointed out that the ongoing discontents over the proposed settlement were needless, saying bringing the nomads together would end the conflict thrown up by the struggle for space.

He addd that the initiative would lead to development and enhancement of livestock value chain. “Livestock development is a big business. The value chain is enormous and will attract huge foreign exchange for the country. Leather alone is a multimillion naira business and in the ongoing diversification drive of the federal government from oil to agriculture; livestock subsector could be the key flagship,” he explained.

He said Niger had already taken the lead through the rehabilitation of the 45, 000 hectares Bobi Grazing Reserve in Mariga local government area. Matane said the present administration, under the leadership of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, would expedite action towards promoting pasture development for Pastoralists at the Grazing Reserve.

He explained that the settlement of Pastoralists at the Grazing Reserve would turn nomadic Pastoralists into mixed Farmers who will take up Crop Farming to supplement Livestock Farming. (Daily Trust)


Source: News Express

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