Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger state has reiterated his determination to transform the livestock industry in Niger State as part of his administration’s effort towards creating more job opportunities to the teeming unemployed youths in the state.
The Governor stated this when he led a high powered delegation from the Central Bank of Nigeria to inspect ongoing projects at the Bobi Grazing Reserves in Marigai Local government area.
Governor Sani Bello said the state government has already provided some funds to kick start the project while the Central Bank of Nigeria will finance the private sector towards the actualisation of the project.
“Although the state government has laid the foundation, more still needs to be done. I am in the facility to monitor progress of work. I have seen that the preliminary plans have been made as the private investors have began to move to site. WAMCO is also working with us and has put up some equipments on the site already”.
He explained that the state government would provide the community with electricity, security and pipe borne water added that government would commence sensitization of the locals to enlighten them on the derivable benefits of the reserve as well as the need for a cordial relationship between the community and the investors.
Governor Sani Bello, who reiterated that the transformation of the reserve by the Federal Governments was a deliberate plan to provide lasting solution to the incessant farmers /herders clash, warned the District Head and other indegines of the area to desist from selling the gazzeted area and directed that all already sold lands within the gazzeted area to be revoked.
” The underlying problem at the moment is the issue of farmers residing illegally on the reserve and the herdsmen. To solve this problem, we have resolved to revoke all the lands sold out on the initial 30,000 hectares gazetted for this project. However, all farmers using the land for farming will be pardoned for this year’s farming season”.
Earlier, the Special Adviser to the CBN Governor on Development Finance, Mr. Anthony Ifechukwu said that the 30,000 hectares of the grazing reserve was well situated and that more than four investors have indicated interest in developing the reserve.
Meanwhile, WAMCO representative, Stanley Obiakor said the company believed in the project and will support it for the benefit of the herdsmen, the state and the country at large.
Part of the transformation efforts of the state government include Partnering with private firms to establish the first indigenous Milk Centre in Nigeria; establishment of the largest grazing area where varieties of Cattle feeds can be produced both for local and international consumption; provision of a permanent settlement area for herders equipped with modern facilities such as clinic, police outpost, school for Nomads among other things.