Saturday, 29 June 2019

FG Begins RUGA Settlement In Sokoto,Kogi,Kebbi,Niger etc

Despite the harsh criticism of  the planned establishment of Ruga settlements across the country, the Federal Government is set to commence the pilot phase of the project  in Taraba, Adamawa, Plateau, Kaduna and seven other states

It was learnt in Abuja on Friday that the  execution of the project  would start in 11 states including Sokoto, Nasarawa, Kogi, Katsina, Kebbi, Zamfara and Niger.

Documents seen  by one of our correspondents at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development showed that all was set for the implementation of the initiative.

According to senior officials of the ministry, the Federal  Government is determined to go ahead with the  project, notwithstanding the public outcry, particularly in the South.

“The pilot states for its implementation are Sokoto, Adamawa, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Kogi, Taraba, Katsina, Plateau, Kebbi, Zamfara and Niger. They are actually 11 in number and the governors of these states are coming to the ministry to learn  how the Ruga settlements will be implemented,” a senior official at the FMARD, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

The source  added, “These are the states that have fully shown their  interest. But unfortunately, people are talking about this as if the Federal Government is planning to grab land in the states. That’s not true. The plan is mainly for these states that are ready and the Federal Government had a discussion with the governors concerned.

“Some of the governors came here and they promised to provide land because they have seen the benefits they will derive from the initiative. It is not that the Federal Government wants to invade the states, no!”

When asked whether the government would go ahead with the initiative despite its rejection by many other states, the official replied, “Why not? Of course, the government will go ahead with the programme, particularly in states that are willing to have it. For states that are not interested,  no problem.”

On Tuesday, the Permanent Secretary, FMARD, Mohammed Umar,  said  aside from the  states where the pilot phase of the programme would start, many other states had expressed their interest in the scheme.

The project is said to be part of the solution to the incessant clashes between farmers and herders.

Umar had said, “The Ruga settlement will attract a lot of investment to Nigeria and it is our belief that in the next five years, each Ruga settlement will provide nothing less than 2,000 employment opportunities. We are collaborating with the cattle breeders associations in Nigeria.”

On May 21, 2019, the immediate past Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, had announced that Buhari approved the Ruga settlement initiative earlier in the same month.

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