A group of herders, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has lamented the lack of support from the incumbent administration for the pastoralists despite the fact that the Fulani people possess 98 percent of the cattle in Nigeria. This was disclosed by the group president Baba Othman Ngelzarma during a press briefing in Abuja on Saturday. Therefore, the group clamour for aid and inclusion from the Buhari led-administration, following the group endeavor in the last presidential election, as per report.
Ngelzarma emphasized that the government has neglected the livestock industry, noting that pastoralists are suffering because people think they are for Buhari, and Buhari is for them because he is Fulani. He said up until now nothing has been done to point to despite the concerted efforts shown during the last election. While over N500 billion was invested on agronomy, in the past eight years almost nothing tangible was done for pastoralists. Ngelzarma explains that the provision budgeted for livestock industry both at the states and federal level are too minimal.
Livestock can sustain the country’s economy If harnessed well.
According to the MACBAN President livestock is so resourceful and has a great potential that placed it next to oil. If managed and harnessed well, Ngelzarma said the sector can sustain the economy of the country, an example is a cow; everything on a cow can be a useful resource. He asserts that pastoralists deserve protection for themselves and their businesses against cattle rustlers, kidnappers, bandits, thieves, among other menaces threatening there existence and operational activities.
Ngelzarma argues that the Fulani race should not be perceived as criminals or any kind of threat due to the bad conduct if the few, noting that the majority are also under threat of crises such as the farmers-herders clashes and cattle rustling and kidnapping. He reiterated that MACBAN is a trade group operating a legal cattle rearing business. The group president asserted that there has never been a time when the pastoralists were giving aid after losing their means of livelihood.
NLTP is seen as a meager project that cannot solve the issue at hand.
Moreover, Ngelzarma said a recent initiative of the federal government that provides funds for some states to transform the livestock sector is grossly inadequate to solve the challenges faced by the industry. He further explained that the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) under implementation by the Buhari led-administration, where some states have access to about 3 to 6 billion Naira worth of funding is seen as a meager project that cannot solve the issue at hand.
In furtherance, he cited an instance of the Yola project which has commenced, saying that a livestock centre built with a space for not more than 20,000 cows can not accommodate proffer any solution to the issues of more than two million cows in Adamawa. The livestock subsector is an important and integral component of Nigeria’s agriculture and is a major source of household wealth and food security. More attention needs to be given to the sector in order to harness its full potential for the benefit of the country economy.
These projects will make lands available for livestock farmers.
The National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) under implementation is an initiative designed to collaborate with interested state governments to provide land for livestock farmers to practice their profession. Through this program, livestock farmers, including the controversial Fulani herders (and their employers), will have access to land for ranching. When fully initiated, the project will make land available to farmers at a considerably cheap rate, giving farmers who are into livestock farming an opportunity to do so.
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