VP’s Remarks At The Unveiling Of The National Livestock Transformation Plan
REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE UNVEILING OF THE NATIONAL LIVESTOCK TRANSFORMATION PLAN IN ADAMAWA STATE ON THE 10TH OF SEPTEMBER, 2019.
I am honored to be here in Mayo Belwa amongst, the good and industrious people of Adamawa State. This state is fondly referred to as the “Land of Beauty,” I must say that Adamawa State is my second home. As you have heard, l was conferred with the ‘Jagaban of Adamawa’ by His Royal Highness Lamido Adamawa and all the traditional rulers were present. We are here in this land of beauty to flag off the National Livestock Transformation Plan.
At the height of the farmer -herder crisis in Nigeria, the National Economic Council that is composed of the governors of the 36 States met under the aegis of the Council itself to look for possible ways of resolving the problems and ensuring Economic growth at the same time. The governors set up a Committee comprising the governors of the following States; Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Delta, Oyo , Taraba , Zamfara and Plateau state to develop a plan.
That plan is what we christened the National Livestock Transformation Plan. After the plan was designed by that committee of governors it went back to the governors at NEC and was endorsed by all 36 State governors.
It was agreed that some states will be picked as the pilot state and the pilot states for the plan are the following seven, Adamawa, Benue, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara. The essence of the plan is that it is a collaboration between the Federal government, State governments, farmers, pastoralists and private investors.
In this plan the State government, the Federal government does not and will not take any land from a State or local government, any participating State will provide the land as its own contribution to the project. The Federal government merely supports the project.
It is a plan that hopes to birth tailor-made ranches where cattle are bred, and meat and dairy products are produced using modern livestock methods. This solves the problem of cattle grazing into and destroying farmlands. It ensures a practical response to the pressures on water and pasture by forces of climate change. And it provides a modern meat and dairy industry and, in some cases, integrated crop farming. For example, in this Gongoshi reserve, there is crop farming alongside cattle and ranch farming that will go on here.
The unique feature of the National Livestock Transformation Plan will determine its own model. I wish to emphasize as the governor has said that this is not Ruga. The idea of RUGA settlements launched by the Ministry of Agriculture, created a problem when it was perceived that this was a plan to seize lands to create settlements for herders. RUGA was not the plan designed and approved by the governors and the President rightly suspended the implementation. It was not the plan of the National Economic Council. The National Livestock Transformation Plan is one endorsed by all governors and can only be implemented with the full participation and consent of the Governor and the people of the State. No State can be forced to participate.
I am pleased to note that Adamawa State has chosen to begin the implementation of the plan. I must congratulate the Governor of the State who almost immediately upon his assumption of office consulted with the National Economic Council’s Farmer-Herders Crises Committee Secretariat in order to understand the plan and how it could be implemented in Adamawa State.
This is the right approach. Adamawa State has experienced several crises on account of clashes between herders and farmers resulting in the destruction of lives and property. The introduction of the National Livestock Transformation Plan is a win-win for the State and its people. The plan will provide a basis for peaceful coexistence, jobs for many, and a mechanism for resolving disputes of various types. I’m especially happy that the members of our N-Power team the N-Agro were the ones who conducted the enumeration of crop farmers and cattle herders who are in this reserve.
They conducted that enumeration and we have here 772 cattle rearing families and 190 crop farmers here in this community. I must congratulate again the governor and the people of this community for this laudable step that has been taken today. I see that everybody is happy that we are able to launch the scheme here today. I have seen from this placards that is carried around that this is going to be a peaceful implementation and a very laudable scheme.
I thank you all for your attention and bring you also the very warm greetings of President Muhammadu Buhari who all of us know that he is extremely pleased to see the National Livestock transformation Plan is taking place in Adamawa State.
Thank you and God bless you.