Benue Government says it is not opposed to the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) recently approved by the National Economic Council (NEC).
This position is contained in a statement signed by Gov Samuel Ortom’s Chief Press Secretary (CPS) Mr Terver Akase on Monday and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Makurdi.
NAN reports that NEC had approved NLTP as a proactive measure to stem the lingering herders/farmers crises in parts of the country.
Akase said what the government was opposed to was the establishment of Cattle Colonies, Grazing Reserves as well as Rural Grazing Areas (RUGA).
He claimed that neither RUGA nor grazing reserves were discussed by NEC but admitted that NLTP was discussed and given approval for states to adopt parts that were suitable them.
“What Benue rejected and still reject, are cattle colonies, RUGA settlements and grazing reserves, which were neither discussed nor approved by NEC.
“NEC agreed that regarding the NLTP, each state would be free to adopt aspects of the plan which suit its peculiarities.
“In the case of Benue State, we already have a law on ranching and there is no provision in the legislation for open grazing.” he said.
According to him, Benue stakeholders, after a careful study of the NLTP document, resolved that the plan had infrastructural development benefits that the state could explore.
“In line with the above, when Benue stakeholders recently met and studied the NLTP document critically, they resolved that the plan has other aspects of infrastructural development from which the state would benefit.
“Prominent among such provisions in the document is the plan for resettlement of those affected by herdsmen attacks and other forms of violence whose property have been destroyed in different parts of the state.”
The governor’s aide pointed out that the stakeholders agreed to embrace NLTP only to the extent that it would never violate the provisions of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state.
Akase disclosed that stakeholders suggested the constitution of a technical team of experts to study the document and identify suitable areas for implementation in the state.
According to him, the meeting also resolved that the NLTP should be domesticated in the state and to ensure that it conforms with the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state. (NAN)