26 March 2014

Nigeria: Farmers-Herders Clashes - FG Raises Committee On Grazing Reserves

Photo: Premium Times
A village after an attack (file photo)

The Federal Government has moved to end the perennial clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in parts of Nigeria. The government yesterday resolved that a technical committee be set up to tackle the issue after a meeting held at the State House in Abuja.

The closed door meeting was chaired by Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo. Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Akinwunmi Adesina, said the meeting noted that rising livestock population and encroaching on grazing lands were some of the causes of the clashes.

According to him, the meeting identified the need to increase the number of grazing reserves across the nation from the current 415 out of which, he said, only 141 had been gazetted with less than 20 equipped with resources for pastoralists.

The committee has two weeks within which to submit its report. He listed the committee's terms of reference as including looking into how to improve existing grazing reserves and designing a new financing regime for them.

Adesina said the Surveyor-General of the Federation Prof. Peter Nwilo and his team was also charged to design a detailed map that would show the grazing reserves for proper monitoring.

The government also resolved to deploy the use of satellite imagery to help track movements of animals. The minister stressed the need for further dialogue and consultation, especially in the crisis-ridden areas.

He said: "Dialogue among some stakeholders, especially in Benue and Plateau, the flash points of Fulani uprising, is being worked out too".

He also disclosed that the vice president had directed the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, to ensure proper monitoring of the country's borders to check cattle rearers who move into the country with arms.

Adesina said he would brief the National Economic Council (NEC) of the development at its meeting slated for tomorrow.

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