NEC Halts Open Grazing In Benue, Four States


By Sadiq Umar – The National Economic Council (NEC), Thursday, resolved that herdsmen must stop open grazing in the country starting with Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Kaduna and Zamfara.

The Council said all the concerned states would make available land for establishment of ranches for herders.

Speaking to State House Correspondent at the end of the meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa Abuja, Ebonyi state governor, Dave Umahi, said already lands have been provided for ranches in Mambilla plateau in Taraba, Kaduna among few other states.

Mr. Umahi said the NEC agreed that the most profitable way for cattle farmers is ranching, adding that five mainly affected states which have witnessed killings from the herdsmen/farmers clashes.

He added that with ranching, the nomadic herdsmen and their families would be able to access good medical facilities and good schools for their children if they stay in one place.

Ranching, he added, would also improve the well-being of the cattle.

Mr. Umahi also disclosed that the federal government and the affected states will still iron out the interventions expected from the two parties.

He added that herdsmen from neighbouring countries would be expected to show some travel documents, even though visa is not allowed for movement of those from West African countries.

Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, who also spoke noted that ECOWAS protocol on free movement of persons has become problematic in for Nigeria.

He said the provision of ranching for herders would mitigate the clashes between farmers and herdsmen.





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