The governor of Plateau State, Simeon Lalong, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to implement the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) towards ending the farmers/herders crisis in Nigeria.
Mr Lalong, who is the chairperson of the Northern Governors Forum, visited the Aso Villa in Abuja on Friday and spoke with journalists after seeing President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governor said he was a member of a committee set up to make recommendations on the best way to put an end to the crisis.
“Incidentally, I am a member of the livestock committee under the Vice President and I represent the North Central. That was the purpose of setting up that committee and that committee made far-reaching recommendations and then funds were to be made available to pilot states, Plateau and about nine states are the pilot states, to address some of these issues.
“The issue was to move away from the old ways of rearing cows and to find modern ways of doing it. In some places, they will do it that way, but then in a confined environment, which was agreed to by all.
“And that is part of the point I was raising, to remind Mr President to hasten the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP). We are still left with the herdsmen/farmers problem, the implementation of the NLTP will go a long way to address these issues.”
“Either we like it or not, we need cows and it is also some people’s occupation. But where it leads to conflicts and raises hazards like insecurity, we have to address. While we tolerate it, we must still address it because it is some people’s means of economic livelihood. But it shouldn’t be posing hazards of insecurity to anybody,” he said.
The National Economic Council (NEC) had in 2019 approve the NLTP with the major aim of investing in the livestock sector to provide ranches and mitigate the escalating crisis between pastoralists and farmers.
On security, Mr Lalong commended the recent change of the service chiefs, restating the commitment of Northern governors to tackling insecurity.
“The change of service chiefs is very commendable. Also to keep up and to remind him of some of the outstanding things that was left behind by their predecessors so that we can hasten and conclude them, to make people say we have serious cases of banditry and so many issues of insecurity in the country are not the same.
“We are going to give maximum cooperation to the new service chiefs while also commending the outgone service chiefs for their role in addressing issues of insecurity.”
The governor also thanked Mr Buhari for intervening in the financial problems facing the Northern Nigeria Development Company by settling the outstanding retirement benefits of workers of the New Nigerian newspapers.
In addition, he appealed to the president to assist his state to reconstruct the Jos Main Market, which was burnt in 2012.
He put the cost of rebuilding the market at between N12billion and N15billion.
“People are talking about markets. In Plateau State, one of the things keeping us is the Jos Market and it has been burned down and up till now it is difficult to rebuild the market. You know market is very essential to people and I have tried in several ways but definitely, as a father I came to him for some interventions to start rebuilding the Jos Main market,” he said.
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