Update1 : Buhari suspends Ruga settlement plans

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Federal government on Wednesday bowed to public pressure on the Ruga settlement it had initiated, as President Muhammadu Buhari Ordered the immediate suspension of the project nationwide.

Prior to the suspension, the federal government had awarded contracts for the creation of the Ruga settlements for herdsmen, beginning with a pilot plan in the selected states, with a budget of N136m per state.

Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, confirmed the suspension after a meeting of the National Economic Council committee on Farmers/ Herders clash chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and some Governors representing each of the six geopolitical zones, at the Presidential Villa

Umahi stated that the committee had to deliberate on the approved programme of National Economic Council (NEC) and Federal Government, tagged, “The National Livestock Transformation Programme.”

Condemnations had trailed the programme following misgivings and ill feelings about the project, which had been viewed as an attempt at expanding the alleged “Fulaninization” of the country.

Several Nigerians, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, had criticised the project, even as states opposed to the project had issued a statement to the effect that they had no lands for Ruga in their domains.

According to Umahi, “Mr President has suspended the implementation of Ruga programme, initiated and being implemented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, because it is not consistent with the NEC and Federal Government approved National Livestock Transformation plan which has programmes of rehabilitation of displaced IDPs, resulting from the crisis and also development of ranches in any willing state of the Federation. The word is willing state of the federation”

Speaking on the National Livestock Transformation plan, Umahi said “its beauty is that what NEC and FG approved is a voluntary programme to all the 36 … Read More...

Ruga initiative may hamper government’s agribusiness drive – Experts

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Transforming agriculture to agribusiness has been one of several rhetoric of the Federal Government in recent years. However, the decision to establish what it calls Ruga settlements for herdsmen appears to be yet another state intervention in what should be business-driven and private sector-led. Government, agric stakeholders say, should be focused on creating an enabling…

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