Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has announced that herdsmen would pay for the services to be rendered by the proposed ranches or grazing reserves. The nation’s number two citizen made this known on Thursday at the opening ceremony of a two-day summit on national security organised by the Senate in Abuja.
Senate President Bukola Saraki, his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, Minister of Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.) and the service chiefs were also in attendance. Also, Osinbajo called on Nigerians to disregard insinuations that the central government plans to seize lands from state for the purpose of establishing grazing reserves.
“Let me reiterate that on no account will any land be seized or forcefully taken to create ranches or grazing areas. All insinuations to that effect should be disregarded. No one is giving land to herdsmen, as is being falsely alleged,” he said.“Instead, it is in our view that states that are willing and have set aside land for development should cooperate with willing investors in commercially-viable, government-supported ranches or livestock production centres for commercial use.”
“The ranches will have adequate water from boreholes, salt points and pasture. The locations would serve both as forage points and centres for providing extension services to boost animal care, feeding and veterinary facilities, and even abattoirs. Because the ranches are commercial ventures, cattle owners will pay for their use.“It is important to note that by and large, in consultation with stakeholders, all agree that where adequate provision is made on a commercial basis, there is no reason why there won’t be cooperation to use those ranches because there are both economic and social benefits for everyone, including herders.”