FG APPROVES ESTABLISHMENT OF RUGA SETTLEMENT FOR HERDSMEN IN 36 STATES OF NIGERIA
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has approved what is called Ruga settlements across the 36 states.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of Ruga settlements in the country for herdsmen across the 36 states of the country. This means that states would give out lands which will serve as settlement for herdsmen.
According to the immediate past Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh who made the disclosure, this would stop open grazing by herdsmen and end herdsmen-farmers’ clashes across the country.
He explained that the establishment of Ruga settlements, which had been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and had started in 12 states, would allow herdsmen to stay in specific areas, where they could graze their animals.
This is coming after the Federal Government had last year planned to establish cattle colonies for herdsmen, but many states kicked against them.
Also, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Umar, while speaking on the sidelines of the West Africa Antimicrobial Resistance Workshop in Abuja on Tuesday, insisted that the Ruga settlements would attract investors to Nigeria.
The workshop was organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. West African countries including Nigeria, agreed to collaborate to address the destructive effects of antimicrobial resistance on human and animal health.
Umar said, “The Ruga settlement is one of the very important things being done by the ministry and it is one of the best things that can happen not only to Nigeria but to most of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a concept that we developed to deal with internal security.
“We felt that to do away with herders-farmers’ conflict, we need to settle our nomads and those who breed animals. We want to put them in a place that has been developed as a settlement, where we provide water for their animals, pasture, schools for their children, security, agro-rangers, etc.”
“We are going to change their (herdsmen) lifestyle, take them away from our streets and from wandering in the bush and develop districts, hamlets and towns and definitely in the next five to 10 years you will never see a nomad moving about, wandering or kidnapping. And this will end all these security challenges.”
Asked when the programme would take off, Umar replied, “We have already taken off. First of all, we are starting with about 12 states and we have identified the required locations. In each and every state we are going to have at least nothing less than six locations which we will start with and will settle these people along with other people that are interested in rearing animals.
He said, “ Already state and local governments are buying into the initiative. Many states have indicated interest. They have been coming to the ministry and will like to join to ensure that we set up Ruga settlements in their states so that their nomads will have a place. Also, they will have cattle markets and modern abattoirs in their states.”
But all the five South-East state governors, Samuel Ortom (Benue); Darius Ishaku (Taraba) and the Ondo State Government have rejected the Ruga settlements, saying they would not give out their land for herdsmen’s settlements in their states.
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