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JUST IN: FG Suspends RUGA Settlements Initiative

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…suspension was due to lack of consistency with the NEC and the federal government approved national Livestock Transformation Plan which also involves the establishment of ranches and a programme for the rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) arising from farmers/herders conflicts.

The NEC had said that the livestock initiative was not compulsory while states willing to implement it were required to come up with a development plan in line with the NEC policy.

 

THE Federal Government has stepped back from its plan to establish RUGA (cattle Fulani settlements) in parts of the country.

This follows a meeting between Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and state governors representing the six geo-political zones of the country at the presidential villa, Abuja on Wednesday.

The meeting involved members of the National Food Security/Herders/Farmers Conflict committee set up by the National Economic Council (NEC).

The committee affirmed that the suspension was due to lack of consistency with the NEC and the federal government approved national Livestock Transformation Plan which also involves the establishment of ranches and a programme for the rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) arising from farmers/herders conflicts.

The NEC had said that the livestock initiative was not compulsory while states willing to implement it were required to come up with a development plan in line with the NEC policy.

At Wednesday’s meeting which held behind closed doors were governors of Ebonyi, Dave Umahi; Plateau, Simon Lalong and Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu.

The Presidency had argued that the RUGA initiative was aimed at bringing lasting solutions to the farmers/herders clashes and also to create jobs.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in a recent statement had said that it was for states that were interested.

However, the office Vice President Osinbajo had been accused of coordinating the controversial initiative, an allegation that promptly denied.

His spokesman, Laolu Akande has said: “The National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) 2019-2028 is a programme to be implemented in seven 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.”

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