Northern Governors under the auspices of Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) have started an emergency meeting in Kaduna, with a view to addressing the current security challenges bedeviling the region.
The meeting is presided over by the Forum’s Chairman, Governor Simon Lalong, is also aimed at resolving the misinformation on the Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) project and proffer lasting solutions to the incessant Farmer-Harder clashes, cattle rustling and associated criminalities such as banditry, kidnapping among others.
In his opening remarks, Lalong said, “the forum has consequently set up a Committee under the Chairmanship of His Excellency, Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State, to inter-alia develop a comprehensive regional plan of action that could bring lasting solutions to the lingering crises.
“At this meeting, we shall receive a briefing from this committee and also deliberate on their findings and recommendations.
“Another major issue we shall also deliberate on is the issue of livestock management in the country and in particular our region, which has continued to generate discourse, controversy, misinformation and even politicization.
“At this meeting, we shall deliberate on the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), which was commissioned by the National Economic Council chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and seeks to support and strengthen the development of market-driven ranches in the livestock ecosystem for improved productivity through breed improvement, pasture production, efficient land and water utilization.
“As a region that holds the comparative advantage in livestock management as an economic and socio-cultural vocation, we need to come up with a common front on how to synergize and draw from the funds available for the programme and ensure that we derive maximum benefits for our people.
Hopefully, we shall develop strategies on how best to deal with the misinformation about the NLTP, which is sometimes confused with the Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) project.
“This is important because of the urgent need to cultivate the buy-in of all stakeholders and provide a conducive environment for nomadic herders and those who rear livestock using the private/public partnership model to key into the National Livestock Transformation Plan of the Federal Government.
“In the course of our engagements here in Kaduna, we shall commission the New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) Shopping Mall which was awarded in 2014 with the aim of consolidating the investment portfolio of the Company and promoting its mission of advancing the commercial and industrial development of our region.
“We also have to continue our discourse on how to solve the Almajiri phenomenon which continues to be a social and security challenge that we cannot but find solutions to.
“I, therefore, urge us all to engage in robust, open and frank discussions that will assist us to come up with practical and effective resolutions that will move our region to the next level.” He said.
The meeting has however gone into a closed-door session, while resolutions are expected at the close of the meeting.