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Tinubu creates Ministry of Livestock Dev’t, appoints Jega Co-chair of Reform Committee

By George George Idowu and Faridat Salifu

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has created a new ministry to be known as Ministry of Livestock Development.

The President has also announced the appointment of former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, as Co-Chairman of the committee on implementation of livestock reform.

NatureNews can report that the new ministry was created by the Tinubu led administration in order to address the incessant farmers-herders crisis across the country.

The ministry was created on Tuesday during the inauguration of the Renewed Hope Livestock Reform Implementation Committee.

Recall that in September last year, President Tinubu approved the establishment of the Presidential Committee dedicated to reforming the livestock industry and providing long-term solutions to the recurring clashes between herders and farmers.

This decision followed the submission of a report from the National Conference on Livestock Reforms and Mitigation of Associated Conflicts in Nigeria.

As a result of that, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) had on several occasions called for the creation of a livestock ministry.

Last month, MACBAN president, Alhaji Baba Usman Ngelzarma, reiterated the demand for creation of the ministry. He argued that a full-blown ministry for livestock would address the entire livestock value chain issues holistically.

His words: “The entire livestock value chain issues can be addressed holistically rather than what is going on now at the National Assembly, working to create a bill for Animal Husbandry or Ranching.

“Ranching is just an aspect of livestock. Instead of going for ranching, why can’t the president create a full-blown ministry for livestock so that all the value chain related to livestock issues can be addressed holistically by that ministry?

“Issues of production, processing, marketing, transportation, and even security related issues can be addressed if there is a ministry dedicated for that purpose,” Ngelzarma stated.

The inauguration of the new ministry was attended by Vice President Kashim Shettima, Secretary to the Government of the Federation George Akume, Chief of Staff to the President Femi Gbajabiamila, and other cabinet members.

In the meantime, President Tinubu has announced Jega’s appointment on Tuesday in Abuja during the inauguration of the Presidential Committee on Implementation of Livestock Reforms to address obstacles to agricultural productivity.

Part of the mandate of the committee is to open up new opportunities which will benefit farmers, herders, processors, and distributors in the livestock-farming value chain.

During the inauguration of the committee in the Council Chamber at the State House, President Tinubu emphasized that the implementation of the reforms will require the collective efforts of members of the committee, drawn from the public and private sectors, state governors, and all Nigerians.

He said: “From here, I will appeal to everyone to remove every iota of partisan politics from this. I will assume the chairmanship of the committee as President and appoint Professor Attahiru Jega as my deputy or co-chair.

“This is not about politics; this is about opportunity. This is about our nation. “When we have great opportunities in our states, why should Nigerians continue to experience conflicts?

“With the calibre of people that are here, this presents a unique opportunity also to delineate and establish a centric ministry called the Ministry of Livestock Development.

“It will give us the opportunity so that our veterinary doctors can have the necessary access to research and cross-breed. We can stop the wanton killings,’’ President Tinubu stated adding “While I may be absent, Jega will preside and continue to promote our objectives.”

President Tinubu noted that the traditional method of livestock farming will need to be reviewed and repositioned with the support of stakeholders, which include state governments, in order to open up new opportunities for growth and prosperity.

He added that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) will ensure the removal of all legal obstacles to the implementation of the reforms, while the Minister of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani will provide support with automation.

“Modern technology is available to us. We are ready to work. I said at the beginning, with you, all of you, the solution is here, and we must run with it. Any law that might inhibit the promotion and actualization of our objectives, the Attorney-General is here, please give it a priority; and the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning is here; create a budget for it to grow, and the Minister of Finance is here as well to work out the money,’’ the President stated.

The President also said the reforms will be comprehensive and collective, urging the support of all stakeholders.

“We need to provide the incentive to enable Nigeria to finally take advantage of livestock farming; dairy products and cold-chain logistics collectively offer substantial commercial and economic advantages. We have seen solutions and opportunities. With these adversities that have plagued us over the years, I believe that prosperity is here – in your hands.”

President Tinubu thanked the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje for his efforts in assembling experienced and reputable experts to ensure the activation of opportunities in the livestock sector, stating that a Ministry of Livestock Development will be created to further explore the potential in the area.


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