In a significant move, President Bola Tinubu has given the green light to the establishment of a Presidential Committee focused on overhauling the livestock industry and finding lasting solutions to the persistent clashes between herders and farmers in Nigeria.
The announcement, made in Abuja on Thursday, follows the submission of a comprehensive report from the National Conference on Livestock Reforms and Conflict Mitigation.
The committee’s composition remains undisclosed at this point, according to a State House statement.
This pivotal conference was convened by Dr. Umar Abdullahi Ganduje, former Executive Governor of Kano State and Chairman of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC).
Tinubu stressed that this committee will work in close collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, with the primary goal of promoting peaceful coexistence between herders and farmers while ensuring the safety and prosperity of all Nigerians.
Moreover, Tinubu stated, “The Federal Government is fully prepared to cover the cost of acquiring the land.
These opportunities will provide gainful employment for our veterinary doctors, while opening doors for the private sector as the provision of new educational opportunities for herders’ and their children emerge.
Medical facilities will be established. This is a life-changing opportunity that we have.”
He went on to paint a promising picture, saying, “Imagine us producing enough milk for our school children. Imagine us becoming net exporters of cheese and yoghurt. Imagine us producing the skin massively with a major Nigerian leather industry. Imagine us providing cold storage facilities and employment across the nation. These things are possible in front of us.”
Tinubu commended Ganduje for assembling a team of experts to tackle the long-standing issues between pastoralists and farmers.
He also lauded the committee members for their diligent examination of the intricate matters concerning livestock management, land use, and security.
Reflecting on the ongoing crisis, Tinubu stated, “Out of every tragedy, if you are careful, you will see an opportunity. We have faced this conflict for some time.
” We know it is a homegrown problem… today I believe the solution is here,” referring to the committee’s report with multiple recommendations.
He concluded with a pointed observation, saying, “It is not the fault of herders and farmers that this crisis has persisted. It is the fault of the leadership who failed to find immediate solutions to solve their problems. Leadership is about thinking and doing.”
Ganduje, who hosted the National Conference during his tenure as Governor of Kano State, expressed his confidence in the report’s potential to address the challenges in the livestock industry.
He noted that the report offers essential reforms and development options necessary for the sector’s sustainable growth, which will increase productivity, improve livelihoods, promote environmental conservation, address root causes of conflicts, and reduce importation costs for animal products like milk and beef.
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