Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has noted that animal husbandry holds enormous potential for West Africa and the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari has given the sector the desired attention by investing to develop it.
Governor Bagudu disclosed this in Birnin Kebbi when he declared closed the high-level dialogue on pastoralism event which was organised as part of the activities lined up to round off the West Africa Integrated and Secure Pastoralism Project, Regional Sahel Pastoralism Support Project, Africa Union Border Program.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Mallam Yahyah Sarki, confirmed this in a statement made available to reporters in Birnin Kebbi.
According to the statement, Bagudu was quoted to have said that the Federal Government has set up a committee that is currently auditing grazing reserves across Nigeria.
‘This is with the view to finding the way of fully developing the sub-sector. President Muhammadu Buhari has also directed us to collaborate with the Benin Republic on rice production.
‘We will now quickly push to ensure that Pastoralism is also included in the above direction. I am optimistic that Buhari will extend any support we need in order to achieve these laudable objectives for Nigeria, Niger and Benin Republics, as well as West Africa and Africa in general.’
Governor Bagudu, who noted that animal husbandry is a very important resource for West Africa, stated that the sector has enormous potentials which must be fully harnessed.
‘I am glad that the event has underscored these budding potentials. These resources must be supported so as to put them to proper use in order to get the desired results,’ he stated.
‘The sub-sector in West Africa needs more funding and there are handsome returns on such investments.’
The Kebbi State governor described pastoralists as very hard working but lamented their unfortunate victimization due to the criminal activities of a few of them.
He particularly chided the media trials of pastoralists, saying ‘they are made to face media trials, yet they are very committed and hard-working.
‘I am elated with the training of media personnel as part of efforts to remedy the obnoxious trend.’
Governor Bagudu stated that his administration was paying special attention to Fulani women to help them to modernize their trades and their children to get a sound education.
‘They are now being assisted to make yoghurt and have many other value additions in this direction,’ he added.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Hon Commissioner of Animal Health and Fisheries, Hon Aminu Garba Dandiga, while appreciating the support of Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu for the success of the workshop, also thanked the participants from Benin, Niger and Nigeria and other stakeholders.
He said at the end of the deliberations from the three countries, the recommendations arrived at would be submitted to governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu.
The Governor of Dosso, Niger Republic, Alhaji Assoumana Ahmadou, the Governor of Alibori, Benin Republic, Ky-Samah Bello, the Ecowas Commissioner in Charge of Agriculture and Water Resources, Sekou Sangare and the Deputy Executive Secretary, Permanent Interstate Committee on the Control of Drought in the Sahel, Dr Paul Ouedraogo, all delivered separate presentations in French.
Dr Adeniyi Adedoyin who is the Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, assured the gathering of the readiness of the Ministry to provide adequate support to improve pastoral activities between Nigeria and its neighbours.
He advised Kebbi State Government to come out with a policy and framework on pastoralism as envisaged in the conference.
The former governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Saidu Usman Nasamu Dakingari, called on the participants to make recommendations towards resolving problems associated with pastoralism in view of the increase in the population of livestock and people.
The representative of the National Boundary Commission, Hajiya Hauwa Ismail, described the workshop as educative that could address some of the problems facing the sector in West Africa.
According to her, the Commission would continue to promote peaceful co-existence, security on the borders and economic growth among countries in Africa.