By George Daniya

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The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alh. Ahmed Ibrahim Matane has explained that the Ruga Settlement is a coined nomenclature misinterpreted which simply means bringing grazing reserve to the pasturalists’ settlement.

Alh. Matane disclosed this while addressing journalists at the Government House, Minna, to give a background why the Niger State was in support to have a grazing reserve established in the state.

He said that the Ruga grazing reserve is simply a system where the pasture are brought to the settlement of the pasturalists along with additional facilities such as veterinary clinics for disease control, water provision, schools, milk collecting centre, extension services among others.

According the SSG, trying to domesticate the Fulanis to remain in a grazing reserve will be culture shock and that gradual process will be implored to make them come in terms with the policy as it was more beneficial than the current system where they were moving from one to the other.

He said that the Federal Government want to end the herders/farmers clashes and the Ruga Settlement establishment will bring an end to the lingering problem, assuring that security will be enhanced as agro rangers will be trained and stationed around the grazing reserves.

The SSG said that the northern Nigeria has the advantage of landmass compared to the southern part of the country that has less land to establish grazing reserves that would cater for all pasturalists coming into the country should they develop.

He said that if the pastoralists continue to move from one place to another conflicts between the pastoralists will not end.

He added that market will be brought close to the herders where their cattle will not only be used for meat provision but other products will be produced from the cattle such as hide and skin while bones are used for pharmaceutical purposes.

Alh. Matane added that there was a lot to be generated from the value chain of livestock if the grazing reserves were developed, saying that money was there to be generated both through domestic and foreign exchange.

He said the Niger State Government was poised to ensure that the Bobi Grazing Reserve which is 40 years becomes reality and that when developed it will take be beneficial to the Mariga Market.

He said that any paturalists coming into any Ruga settlement will be profiled to ascertain where he was coming from as most of them were coming from other West African counties like Senegal, Mali, Burkinafaso and Mali due to the ECOWAS policy of free movement.

TAURARUWA