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Breaking: Tinubu Launches Ministry of Livestock Development to Quell Farmer-Herder Conflicts

President Bola Tinubu has authorized the establishment of a new Ministry of Livestock Development. This decision was announced during the inauguration of the Renewed Hope Livestock Reform Implementation Committee at the State House in Abuja on Tuesday.

The committee’s primary mandate is to devise sector-specific strategies aimed at resolving the longstanding crisis between farmers and herders.

On September 14, 2023, the National Livestock Reforms Committee recommended the creation of a “Ministry of Livestock Resources” under Tinubu’s leadership. The committee, led by former Kano State Governor and Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Abdullahi Ganduje, conveyed this information to State House Correspondents following their audience with the President at Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

This recommendation was among 21 proposals outlined in a report submitted to enhance the Federal Government’s comprehensive approach to addressing ongoing violence. The report detailed various solutions, emphasizing a reform agenda focused on conflict mitigation and resource management.

“This agenda should include the establishment and resuscitation of grazing reserves as suggested by many experts and well-meaning Nigerians and other methods of land utilization.

“Create the Ministry of Livestock Resources in line with practice in many other West African countries. In the alternative, Federal and State Governments should expand the scope of existing Departments of Livestock Production to address the broader needs of the industry,” it read.

Ganduje, who explained the complexity of the challenge at the time, said that the government’s approach must address the four kinds of herders: those who settle at home, nomadic herdsmen traversing the country, those from neighboring West African countries as well as those who have settled among certain ethnic tribes and indigenized.

He lamented the sector’s low productivity, saying it made Nigeria import-dependent, draining scarce foreign reserves for importing dairy, meat, and other livestock products.

Similarly, Ganduje argued that the conflicts are resulting in killings of citizens and loss of livelihoods, further affecting peaceful coexistence in the country.

“The Report grew out of the urgent need to reform and develop the livestock industry and to provide solutions to the age-long conflicts between herders and farmers in Nigeria.

“But to find the solution to achieve the desired goals, you’ll need a strong institution.

“We recommended the establishment of the Ministry of Livestock and subsequent agencies so that various aspects of the recommendations will have appropriate institutions for implementation,” the APC helmsman explained 10 months ago.

He noted that the committee also recommended a funding source, including inflows from international organizations, the private sector, and the government.

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Written by Akinlabi Emmanuel

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