From Mathew Jwantu, Minna
Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State says he is determined to transform the livestock industry in the State to provide jobs for unemployed youths.
The Governor stated this when he led a high powered delegation from the Central Bank of Nigeria to inspect ongoing projects at the Bobi Grazing Reserves in Mariga Local Government Area.
Bello said the state has provided counterpart funding for the project, which will be executed by the Central Bank.
Government will equally provide the community security and basic insecurities, he said.
Sensitization on the benefits of the Reserves according to him has started in the affected communities.
Governor Sani Bello, who reiterated that the transformation of the reserve by the Federal Governments is a deliberate plan to provide lasting solution to the incessant farmers/herders clashes, warned the communities against selling land within the gazetted, directing the revocation of already sold lands.
“The underlying problem at the moment is the issue of farmers residing illegally on the reserve and the herdsmen. To solve this problem, we have resolved to revoke all the lands sold out on the initial 30,000 hectares gazetted for this project. However, all farmers using the land for farming will be pardoned for this year’s farming season”.
Earlier, the Special Adviser to the CBN Governor on Development Finance, Mr. Anthony Ifechukwu said that the 30,000 hectares of the grazing reserve was well situated and that more than four investors have indicated interest in developing the reserve.
Meanwhile, WAMCO representative, Stanley Obiakor said the company believed in the project and will support it for the benefit of the herdsmen, the state and the country at large.
Part of the transformation efforts of the state government include Partnering with private firms to establish the first indigenous Milk Centre in Nigeria; establishment of the largest grazing area where varieties of Cattle feeds can be produced both for local and international consumption; provision of a permanent settlement area for herders equipped with modern facilities such as clinic, police outpost, school for Nomads among other things.