Ruga won’t be imposed on States - Presidency - Breaking News in Nigeria today 247 | TheWatchNGR


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Monday, July 1, 2019

Ruga won’t be imposed on States - Presidency

Ruga won’t be imposed on States - Presidency

The presidency last night in Abuja reacted to the raging condemnations of the move by the federal government to establish rural grazing areas (RUGA) in states, saying the federal government had no plan to impose the idea on any state.

It described the idea as a voluntary concept conceived to end protracted conflicts among herders and locals and simultaneously put paid to the threat of deprivation and loss of people’s freedom.

The presidency made this position known through a statement by a presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu.

According to the statement, 12 states have so far applied to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for participation in the programme, adding that the number is enough for the pilot phase of the project.

The statement accused some state leaders, which it said had not applied for the project and also not on the invitation list of the government, of fuelling the controversy and advised states to cooperate with the federal government in its search for a solution to the lingering crisis.

“Stripped of the politics and howling that has attended the recent comments, there is no government plan to seize state land, colonize territory or impose Ruga on any part of the federation. Government has made it clear time and again that the programme is voluntary.

“So far, 12 states have applied to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, making lands available for the take-off of the scheme in their states. This number is sufficient for the pilot scheme.

“Unfortunately, some state governments that have not signified interest in the scheme and, therefore, are not on the invitation list have been misleading people that the federal government is embarking on a scheme to take away their lands.

“Mostly, these are state leaders that have no explanation to offer their people for continued non-payment of workers’ salaries. It is true that government at the centre has gazetted lands in all states of the federation but because the idea is not to force this programme on anyone, the government has limited the take-off to the dozen states with valid requests.

“We urge states to join the federal government at the centre in encouraging all sides to these conflicts to make efforts towards finding a peaceful resolution. As we seek a permanent solution to these unwanted conflicts, efforts must be made to ensure that no innocent person faces any kind of deprivation or loss of right and freedom under our laws,” the statement said.

The statement which further said the idea was meant to contain the roaming of cattle herders and the consequent clashes they often have with farmers, added that RUGA would help to settle the herders in an organised place with the provision of basic facilities.

Explaining that the project would also be beneficial to all and sundry who engage in animal husbandry, presidency insisted that RUGA would help to end open grazing and the security threat it posed to both farmers and herders.

It listed other benefits of the project to include a boost in animal protection including the quality of hygiene of the herd, beef and milk production as well as other accruable benefits such as job creation and access to credit facilities.

It added: “‘Ruga Settlement’ that seeks to settle migrant pastoral families simply means rural settlement in which animal farmers, not just cattle herders, will be settled in an organized place with provision of necessary and adequate basic amenities such as schools, hospitals, road networks, vet clinics, markets and manufacturing entities that will process and add value to meats and animal products.

“Beneficiaries will include all persons in animal husbandry, not only Fulani herders. The federal government is planning this in order to curb open grazing of animals that continue to pose security threats to farmers and herders.

“The overall benefit to the nation includes a drastic reduction in conflicts between herders and farmers, a boost in animal protection complete with a value chain that will increase the quality and hygiene of livestock in terms of beef and milk production, increased quality of feeding and access to animal care and private sector participation in commercial pasture production by way of investments.

“Other gains are job creation, access to credit facilities, security for pastoral families and curtailment of cattle rustling.”
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