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Cattle ranching: Lalong, northern govs seek FG's aid

By Kingsley Ugwu 

The Northern Governors Forum Chairman and Plateau State Governor, Solomon Lalong has called on the federal government  to assist them in  ranching cattle across the region.

The Northern Governors' Forum Chairman made this known yesterday during a media interactions with journalists.

Speaking on behalf of other governors, Lalong stated that the northern governors have been in support of ranching for quite some time and it is only customary to seek support of the federal government to ensure the project is realised.

"We were advising the federal government to give grants to states that are ready with land,” he said.

According to Lalong, Governors Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Malam Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna and other governor's in the zone have at different times spoken in the same vein, declaring open grazing anachronistic.

With the rise of banditry and recent quit notices being bandied across the country, ranching offers “the only way to control the insecurity,” Lalong said.

“We are not saying that it is compulsory for states that are not ready. But many states in the north are ready.

Adding, “we need some grants to start so that these people will not be moving here and there. 

We need to also keep them in one place. It’s business. So definitely, that’s the only way to control the insecurity.”

Lalong said all stakeholders, including members of cattle herders associations across the country were on board with the idea of ranching.

“But there is this lack of funds to the states, there is lack of encouragement to the states,” he said.

Lalong noted that Plateau State Government has allocated 74,000 hectares for the ranching exercise but needs funding to develop the project.

“When you start restricting people, you must provide alternatives,” he said.

In a reaction, Public Affairs analyst from Ogun State, who identified her name as Olatokumbo said, it was out of norm for funds meant for national development to be deployed to private businesses as cattle ranching.

"I knew it will come to this. When has it became the primary duty of federal government to fund private businesses? She queried in a tweeter message.

She advised the northern governors to desist from actions that could fuel agitations, especially from the south where the bulk of these funds used to run the federal government come from.

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