Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Niger State Government has directed that the 30,000-hectare Bobi Grazing Reserve in Mariga Local Government Srea of the state should be immediately revived.
The governmentâ€™s decision was in line with the administrationsâ€™ policy to set aside several hectares of land in parts of the state for the grazing of animals as way to curb farmers/ herders clash in the state.
Part of the policy also included the identification of 23 grazing reserves in parts of the state that had long been abandoned and government determination to make them functional.
Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello said during an unscheduled visit to the Bobi grazing reserve on Tuesday that the reactivation plan included the sinking of boreholes, provision of green grass, schools and other social amenities for nomads and their children.
Bello announced that a committee of â€œall stakeholdersâ€ had been put in place to interface with the Fulani herdsmen on the reserve and also reassess existing facilities on ground with a view to recommending their repairs and expansion.
â€œWe have some structures on ground and I am sure those ones can be easily renovated. There are also schools and I believe they will need more facilities because we are expecting more herdsmen.â€
The governor was of the opinion that the revival of the abandoned grazing reserves in the state would help in preventing further clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the state
â€œOur forefathers foresaw a situation of conflict among us that was why they provided us with grazing reserves over 50 years ago.â€
â€œWe will need more grazing areas and we will need to develop grasses. We will also need milk collection centres and veterinary services to be provided on the grazing reserve.â€
Governor Bello said the state government was considering the enforcement of cattle tax system for security purposes, adding that the tax regime would help in monitoring those who resided within the grazing reserve area.
He told those using part of the land for farming to relocate from the area gazetted for the grazing reserve in order to avoid clash between them and herdsmen.
â€œI donâ€™t expect any farmer here. I have just been told that there are some farmers who are here illegally. So if there is any farmer here, I have just given instruction that notice should be given and they should know that this is strictly a gazetted grazing reserveâ€.
The governor was conducted round the Bobi grazing reserve by the officer in charge of the project Mr. David Tsado who informed the him that the Bobi grazing reserve had seven blocks with about 700 households six earth dams as well as a solar powered borehole.