The Federal Government has suspended the plan by President Muhammadu Buhari administration to build Ruga settlements in some states in Nigeria.
The Chairman of the National Food Security/Herders/Farmers Conflict, Dave Umahi briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting presided over by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo said 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.
He said: “We the NEC committee on farmers/ herders crisis under the chairmanship of HE Mr. Vice President met today to deliberate on the approved programme of National Economic Council (NEC) and Federal Government, tagged, “the National Livestock Transformation Programme”
“We are aware that today that Mr. President has suspended the implementation of Ruga programme, initiated and being implemented by the Federal ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, because it is not consistent with the NEC and Federal Government approved National Livestock Transformation plan which has programmes of rehabilitation of displaced IDPs, resulting from the crisis and also development of ranches in any willing state of the Federation. The word is willing state of the federation.
“The National Livestock Transformation plan, its beauty is that what NEC and FG approved is a voluntary programme to all the 36 states who may like to participate. So, it is not compulsory, it is for any state that is willing, will key into the programme.
“Any state that is interested in this programme is required to bring up a development plan that is keyed towards the implementation in line with our own programme here that is unique to his state based on the challenges that he has in respect of the crisis. That’s the decision of this committee.”
Those at the meeting were governors of Ebonyi, Dave Umahi, Plateau, Simon Lalong, Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu and Adamawa Deputy Governor, Bala Ngilari.
National Livestock Transformation Plan approved by State governors under the auspices of the National Economic Council (NEC) is chaired by the Vice President.
Recall that NEC had on January 17, 2019, 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 NEC are those from Adamawa, Kaduna, Benue, Taraba, Edo, Plateau, Oyo and Zamfara – mostly the frontline States in the Farmer-Herder crises.
Osinbajo’s 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.