Wed, 17 Jul 2024

 

UPDATED: Tinubu creates Ministry of Livestock Development
 
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Wed, 10 Jul 2024   ||   Nigeria,
 

President Bola Tinubu has announced the creation of the Federal Ministry of Livestock Development in a move expected to end the perennial clashes between pastoralists and farmers.

Tinubu approved the creation of the ministry on Tuesday when he inaugurated the Presidential Committee on Livestock Reforms at the Council Chamber of the State House in Abuja.

‘Solution is Here’

Nigeria has been locked in years of conflicts between farmers and herders. But an excited Tinubu believes the creation of the ministry will resolve the lingering impasse.

“Who says the solution is far? I say, ‘No, the solution is here.’ Majority of you have great experience and you want Nigeria to prosper,” he said.

“To enable Nigeria to finally take advantage of livestock farming, we have seen the solution and opportunity for this adversity that has plagued us over the years and I believe the prosperity is here in our hands.”

With the move, President Tinubu says Nigeria can now look forward to “maintaining the quality and safety of these perishable goods from farm to market thereby reducing food waste and ensuring a stable supply”.

Following the approval, he said the Federal Government is fully prepared to cover the cost of acquiring lands to ensure the peaceful co-existence of pastoralists and farmers.

While President Tinubu will chair the committee on livestock reforms, a former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega, is the deputy chairman.

The committee is expected to propose recommendations aimed at fostering a peaceful co-existence between herders and farmers, ensuring the security and economic well-being of Nigerians.

Tinubu’s announcement comes 10 months after he approved the establishment of the presidential committee to address herders and farmers’ clashes and bolster livestock and dairy industries.

He set up the committee after receiving a report from the National Conference on Livestock Reforms and Mitigation of Associated Conflicts in Nigeria.

The committee, chaired by the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, gave President Tinubu 21 recommendations, including creating a Ministry of Livestock Resources.

Decades-Long Conflict

The creation of the ministry is the latest attempt by the Nigerian government to address the decades-long conflict between herders and farmers over access to land, pasture and water.

In the past, previous governments have reeled out a raft of measures including the highly controversial Rural Grazing Area (RUGA). However such moves have failed to address the perennial conflicts between the farmers and pastoralists.

The dispute has claimed hundreds of lives with the recent being in Plateau State where dozens were killed last December.

The violence is often painted as an ethno-religious conflict between Muslim herders and mainly Christian farmers. But climate change and expanding agriculture are also major factors.

Last December’s attack took place in the Mangu area of the North-Central state which is 74km (45 miles) south-east of the state capital, Jos.

 

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