Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Thursday constituted a 16-man committee for the establishment of Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) settlements and Milk Markets in the state.
Inaugurating the committee at Government House, Ganduje said Kano RUGA settlements will accommodate not only Kano herders, but cattle rearers across the country, as well as neighbouring West African countries.
Ganduje pointed out that, “this is a very important committee, considering the fact that RUGA has become a contemporary issue. We are all aware of the security and social conflicts it is creating across the country”.
He said the project would be carried out in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank.
“We have three types of herdsmen – those rearing their cattle around their houses who do not pose a problem because they don’t move around; we also have herders who are Nigerians from the northern part of the country, but will move across to the Middle Belt and the southern part of the country during the dry season in search of water for their cattle; they come back to their base in the north after a while.
“Then, going by ECOWAS protocol, we also have herdsmen who travel from neighbouring countries of Chad and Cameroon to the northern part of the country, from where they also move to the south in search of grazing land for their cattle. So, this is where the issue lies.”
Ganduje who said the RUGA settlements would be designed in such a way that it will expand the economic base of the state, added that infrastructures such as schools, hospitals, livestock clinics, houses, markets and other relevant infrastructures and social amenities that would make life comfortable for them will also be provided in the RUGA settlements.
According to him, the committee will also look at the possibility of creating Milk Market for the teeming wives of Fulani herders who face difficulties selling their milk, because of lack of storage facilities, adding that already some private investors have indicated interest to partner the state government on the establishment of the market.
He further stated that the terms of reference of the committee include, “to identify areas/locations for the establishment of milk (Nono) market; identify areas suitable for establishment of RUGA for the resettlement and improvement of nomadic cattle breeders; production of master plan of RUGA settlement.
“To determine the type of social services and infrastructure to be provided at the RUGA settlement such as veterinary hospitals, market stalls, borehole; and identify any other issue incidental to the assignment.”
The committee, which includes representatives of all security agencies, is billed to submit its recommendations within three weeks from the date of inauguration.
Speaking on behalf of the Committee, its chairman, Dr. Jibrilla Mahmoud, who is also the Managing-Director of Kano State Investment and Property Company (KSIP), thanked Ganduje for the confidence reposed on members of the committee and promised to complete their assignment in good time.