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Sunday, 4 February 2018

No cattle colony bill in northern states’ legislature

No cattle colony bill in northern states’ legislature

Cattle Herdsman

None of the 16 northern states, which allegedly volunteered to provide at least 50,000 hectares of land each for the establishment of cattle colonies, has begun legal process to seal the deal.

The affected states include Adamawa, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Borno, Jigawa, Yobe, Niger, Kogi and Kwara.

Findings by our reporter revealed that top officials in the affected states were also ignorant of the alleged deal between their governors and the Federal Government on the issue.

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Investigations at some of the state Houses of Assembly also revealed that there was no document before the lawmakers seeking their approval for the establishment of the colonies.

Spokesperson for the Kwara State Governor, Dr. Muyideen Akorede, said he was not aware of any decision by the state to provide land for the establishment of the proposed cattle colony.

Akorede also told our reporter that he was not aware of any move to secure the approval of the state House of Assembly for land that would be used for the cattle colony.

He said, “The Kwara State Government’s approach to ensuring peace between farmers and herdsmen is dialogue and compensation mechanism. I am not aware of any decision by the state government to provide land for colonies.”

Similarly, the Plateau State Commissioner for Agriculture, Linda Barau, said the state government had yet to take any decision on the issue.

She said, “We have not secured the approval of the Plateau State House of Assembly to release land to the Federal Government’s cattle colonies. The governor (Simon Lalong) only paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, to know what the cattle colony was all about.

“We will sit down with the technical people to know what the blueprint of the project would be. That has not even been done yet. We need to get details on the technical matter.

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“There must be a transfer of documents for us to know what the programme is all about. But before now, we have been trying to work on ranching.”

Also, the Chairman, Public Accounts and Petitions Committee in the Plateau State House of Assembly, Peter Gyendeng, said, “As of today (Thursday evening), we have not seen any bill related cattle colonies.”

The Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Mathew Kolawole, said Governor Yahaya Bello had not written any letter seeking approval for the establishment of colonies.

Kolawole added that the governor did not need the approval of the lawmakers before allocating land for the proposed cattle colonies.

He said, “To the best of my knowledge, no such letter is before the House at the moment,” he said.

The Director-General, Media and Communications to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State, Salisu Yakasai, told one of our correspondents that the state does not have cattle colonies but grazing reserves.

Punch

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