President Bola Tinubu has been urged by the Kulen Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria (KACRAN) to stop excluding pastoralists from government policies and programs.
The association’s National President, Hon. Khalil Mohd Bello, issued the following statement on Tuesday: “It is very sad and highly pitiful to note that, if there is any group of people who are doing their best day and night in contributing tremendously to the provision of nourishing food to our beloved Nigerians and in the country’s domestic income through payments of multiple taxes but are almost forgotten or totally side lined in terms of adequate inclusion in ne
Bello asserted that Ahmed Lawan, the former Senate President, had enthusiastically supported the aforementioned assertion, adding that “he even promised to lead a struggle that will provide justice and fairness to Nigeria’s herders, whom he admitted had been totally ignored by the previous governments.”
Apart from the support of the most recent senate president, he recalled that even Audu Ogbe, the former honorable minister of agriculture and rural development, had repeatedly stated that Nigeria’s pastoralists and their pastoral occupation had been neglected for more than 50 years by our previous administrations.
Additionally, even the most recent Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammad Muhamood Abubakar, bravely and boldly disclosed during the Regional Agricultural Summit held in Abuja last year by his ministry, under the colorful/successful coordination of the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ernest Umakhihe, and Director Animal Husbandry Services, Winnie Lai-Solarin, that, the Nigerian pastoralists and pastoralism in general are not recieved favorably by the international community
The Minister continued, “The Minister, out of passion and humility, said, he observed painfully that, government’s attention is always tilted towards promoting arable farming to the detriment of livestock and fisheries sectors.”
Umma Abubakar, Director Animal Husbandry Services, Agricultural and Rural Services of the FCT, KACRAN, GAFDAN, and representatives of other Pastoralists Associations were in attendance at the conference, where delegates from Niger, Tchad, Cameroon, and Benin Republics were present, he stressed the need for the plight of the pastoralists to be taken into consideration while implementing government policies and programs, the author continued.
Bello claimed that KACRAN somberly observed that the primary reason for pastoralists’ exclusion from government policies and programs was because the government’s focus is always on the execution of large-scale projects like the construction of roads, bridges, offices, homes, solar energy, development of arable farming, etc., which have nothing to do with genuine livestock development, which is the foundation for the provision of wholesome food and ad hoc nutrition.
The former Senate President and former Ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development both made clear that they agreed that the livestock sector should be marginalized, and he continued, “The most painful of all is that to date, no concrete stand or measure has been taken to address the anomaly.
“At this time, we want to express our sincere concern that, despite the fact that pastoralists are most negatively impacted by the removal of all oil subsidies, which led to the formation of various committees by Mr. President to develop recommendations or suggestions on how the government would intervene to lessen the negative effects of the hardship brought on by the removal, we are quite certain that members of the committees under reference have nothing like herding cattle.
“What KACRAN is expecting is coming up with elitist plans on how government will introduce palliative measures to Nigerians primarily living in cities and urban areas or what the new minimum wage is supposed to be, but as we stated earlier, nothing at all will be included for herders immediate benefit as if we are not Nigerians.
In order to end the exclusion of pastoralists from government policies and programs, he pleaded with President Bola Tinubu to please allocate adequate budgetary funds to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Directorate of Animal Husbandry Services and Rural Development, FCT, which are both responsible for developing Nigeria’s livestock.
“Finally, we respectfully and fervently request that Bola Ahmed Tinubu, our beloved and highly respected president, make strong arrangements through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Directorate of Animal Husbandry Services to provide monthly or quarterly payments to Nigeria’s herders. Because only in this way will the country’s pastoralists benefit from President Tinubu’s wonderful administration’s deeds.