Laleye Dipo in Minna
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has said that the government was investing heavily in the development of the Bobi grazing reserve because it had the potential to provide jobs for unemployed youths in the state.
Governor Bello also said that the reserve when fully operational would have the first indigenous milk factory in Nigeria. The governor made this known in Bobi in the Mariga local government area of the state when he led technical officials from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on an inspection of the facilities already provided at the grazing reserve.
Saying that the reserve would be the largest in Nigeria, Governor Bello also disclosed that it would have facilities for the production of varieties of cattle feeds for local and International consumption, as well as ” well equipped clinic, police outpost and school for children of nomads.”
Governor Bello reiterated his determination to transform the livestock industry in Niger State adding that the reserve would minimise, if not totally eliminate cases of herders and farmers. To achieve the objectives the governor disclosed that his government would partner with the producers of Peak milk and the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He described the 35,000 hectare Bobi grazing reserve as the largest in West Africa and disclosed that the CBN had agreed to invest in the venture while the government had provided funds to kick start the project.
“Although the state government has laid the foundation, more still needs to be done. I am in the facility to monitor progress of work. I have seen that the preliminary plans have been made as the private investors have begun to move to site, WAMCO is also working with us and has put up some equipments on the site already.”
He explained that the state government would provide the community with electricity, security and pipe borne water adding that government would commence sensitisation of the locals to enlighten them on the derivable benefits of the reserve as well as the need for a cordial relationship between the community and the investors.
In addition he announced that the titles for all lands adjoining the reserve had been revoked but said those farming there now would be given up to the end of the season to harvest their crops and vacate the land.
Earlier, the Special Adviser to the CBN Governor on Development Finance, Mr. Anthony Ifechukwu said that the 30,000 hectares of the grazing reserve was well situated and that more than four investors had indicated interest in developing the reserve.