Niger State Government and European Union(EU) have opened discussion towards the transformation of the livestock sector in the state.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, While addressing EU representatives to Nigeria at the EU Embassy, Abuja, says livestock sector in Nigeria has been neglected over the years and it is the time to modernise the sector in order to help curb incessant herder-farmer conflict.
Governor Bello in a Paper presentation highlights areas the state is seeking support from , to enable her come up with sustainable solutions to the challenges which he says needs to work out ways to bring it to an end.
He says except the old system of herdsmen moving around with their animals is stopped and the ranching method adopted conflicts among farmers and herdsmen will continue to linger.
The governor says he had already commenced the construction of ranch in Bobi Grazing Reserve in Mariga local government area ,even before the Federal Government came up with the RUGA settlement scheme.
He says due to the prolong neglect, no budgetary provisions for the herdsmen, population expulsion, encroachment on the grazing reserves and animal routes are some of the issues that lead to farmers/herdsmen conflict.
According to him, the visit to the EU Embassy to Present what his government has been doing on the Bobi Grazing Reserve and how he wants to transform the livestock sector so that much healthier and quality produce are brought out from the animals.
The governor further says other areas discussed is support of the EU in the area of education sector which he says skill acquisition is top of his priority as white kola jobs are not readily available.
Ketil karlsen, Ambassador Head of E U Delegation to the Fed. Rep. Of Nigeria & to the Economic community of West African states. Nigeria, says they have remained worthy partners with the country and that it will continue to give her support.
Karlsen says with the fruitful discussion which has given the team updated information on other areas of concern in the state notes that the EU has been following all the happenings and wants to see how the EU can intervene in the incessant farmers-herders clashes.
He says EU officials are following the Bobi Grazing Reserve development with keen interest and they’re lots of European Companies that are out there looking for models to work on explaining that the EU remains the biggest trading partner in Nigeria as well as in the areas of support and assistance.
The ambassador says EU is worried over North East unrest, climate change and other challenges and is in total support to assist government at at all levels in the country.
According to him, the EU. is prioritizing their programmes and will look into the education sector in the state which seemingly needs more attention, especially the Girl-child education.
He says with the governor’s background in private sector he is of the opinion that the public private partnership policy will be achieved.
Other EU Ambassadors including Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, asked questions on grey areas where the Governor in turn provides answer to them with enough clarifications.
Mrs Mary Noel Berje
Chief Press Secretary