The Muhammadu Buhari regime has instituted a scheme termed the Livestock Intervention Programme which will see to the establishment of herdsmen settlements and grazing areas in six pilot states.
The states are Adamawa, Kwara, Niger, Bauchi, Kaduna and Gombe.
The Buhari government seeks to have the new scheme replace the contentious Rural Grazing Area scheme in July 2019 popularly known as RUGA.
According to Punch, the new programme is based on the documents from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The documents revealed that the government would establish eight large herders’ settlements in each of the six pilot states.
The scheme is expected to be extended to other states, following a successful outing in the experimental states.
Asked if the Nigerian Government would reactivate the suspended RUGA programme since the clashes between herders and farmers had yet to subside, the acting Director, Animal Husbandry Department, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Winnie Lai-Solarin replied, “What we have now is the Livestock Intervention Project. And this intervention will take place in the settlements. It might also interest you to know that right now, the intervention has been reduced to six states.”
According to the director, the six pilot states for the LIP are in the North because the region has large settlements and land to grow pasture.
Lai-Solarin confirmed that the Federal Government was establishing the livestock settlement in eight locations in each of the six states.
When responding to the reason the Nigerian government concentrated the intervention to six trial states, unlike the RUGA settlements that started with 12 states, the FMARD official explained that the uproar against plans to establish RUGA settlements led to the cut-down.
She, however, noted that some states were still showing interest, despite the initial widespread outcry in many parts of Nigeria.