From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
At a time most state Governor’s are dragging foot over plans to establish RUGA for herders, Kano state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has taken the Bull by the horn as he set up a committee for the establishment of RUGA settlements in Kano.
Ganduje also invited herders from other states and neighbouring countries to consider settling down in the proposed Kano RUGA settlements where all infrastructural and social amenities would be provided for their comfort and the rearing of their livestocks.
According to him, the project which is in conjunction with Islamic Development Bank will not only bring to an end the Fulani herders controversy, but will also serve as another window for economic development in Kano.
Inaugurating the 16-man Committee at Government House, Ganduje said Kano RUGA settlements will accommodate not only Kano herders, but cattle rearers across the country as well as neighbouring West African countries, pointing out that, “this is a very important Committee, considering the fact that RUGA has become a contemporary issue. We are all aware of the security and social conflicts it is creating across the country.
“We have three types of herdsmen—those rearing their cattle around their houses who does not pose a problem because they don’t move around. We also have herders who are Nigerians from the northern part of the country, but will move across to the Middle-Belt and the southern part of the country during dry season in search of water for their cattle; they come back to their base in the North after a while.
“Then, going by ECOWAS protocol, we also have herdsmen who travel from neighbouring countries of Chad and Cameroon to the northern part of the country, from where they also move to the South in search of grazing land for their cattle. So, this is where the issue lies.”
Ganduje who said the RUGA settlements would be designed in such a way that it will expand the economic base of the state, added that infrastructures such as schools, hospitals, livestock clinic, houses, markets and other relevant infrastructures and social amenities that would make life comfortable for them will also be provided in the RUGA settlements.
According to him, the Committee will also look at the possibility of creating Milk Market for the teeming wives of Fulani herders who face difficulties selling their milk, because of lack of storage facilities, adding that already some private investors have indicated interest to partner with the state government on the establishment of the market.
He further stated that terms of reference of the Committee include, “to identify areas/locations for the establishment of milk (Nono) market; identify areas suitable for establishment of RUGA for the resettlement and improvement of normadic cattle breeders; production of master plan of RUGA settlement.
“To determine the type of social services and infrastructure to be provided at the RUGA settlement such as veterinary hospitals, market stalls, bore hole; and identify any other issue incidental to the assignment.”
The Committee, which include representatives of all security agencies, is billed to submit its recommendations within three weeks from the date of inauguration.
Speaking on behalf of the Committee, its chairman, Dr. Jibrilla Mahmoud who is also the Managing-Director of Kano State Investment and Property Company (KSIP), thanked Ganduje for the confidence reposed on members of the Committee and promised to complete their assignment in good time.