Niger to Expand Bobi Grazing Reserve

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Laleye Dipo in Minna

The Niger State Government may have further embraced the “Ruga” policy of the federal government, which has been criticised and rejected by some states in the southern and middle belt regions of the country.

This followed the announcement by the new Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed Matane, that the government will expand the Bobi grazing reserve in Mariga Local Hovernment of the state

Matane made the announcement at the weekend when he paid a working visit to the 45,000 hectare reserve during which he was said to have claimed that the expansion would “avert farmers/herdsmen clashes in the state”.

A statement by the Information Officer in the SSG’s office, Alhaji Lawal Tanko, Sunday quoted the government’s scribe as saying: “The expansion was in line with government policy of establishing grazing reserves in some parts of the state with a view to putting an end to the lingering farmers/herdsmen clashes.”

Matane, according to the statement, further said that the present administration under the leadership of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello would expedite action towards promoting pasture development for pastoralists at the grazing reserve, adding that: “The settlement of pastoralists at the grazing reserve would turn nomadic pastoralists into mixed farmers who will take up crop farming to supplement livestock farming.”

He said government had already provided social amenities such as schools, roads, hospitals, veterinary clinics, security and milk collection centres among others at the grazing reserve.

The SSG pointed out that government is intensifying effort towards the provision of potable water for the livestock and pastoralists as well as make pasture available, adding that “the grazing reserve is to accommodate half of the cattle in the state”.

Matane expressed optimism that the measure would no doubt encourage herders to remain in the grazing reserve instead of the present situation of roaming from one place to another and trespassing into farms.