Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, on Tuesday, said the state has embarked on a N10 billion cattle ranch project to centralise all herders in Kaduna.
El-Rufai, who spoke with newsmen shortly after a meeting with officials of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, said the project will be completed in two years.
The governor said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was supporting the state with about N7.5 billion for the success of the project.
He said the Northern States Governors’ Forum has already taken a position that open grazing is not a sustainable way of livestock production but ranching.
“But moving towards ranching cannot be done overnight. We have to have a plan; we have to have resources and we have to implement it sensibly. We have taken a position as northern state governors and we are implementing that.
“In my state for instance, we are developing a huge ranch to centralize the herders. And that is the solution a long time. But can it be done overnight? No.
“This project we are doing will cost us about N10 billion. The CBN is supporting us with about N7.5 billion. And it will take about two years to do.
“And I hope that the Fulani herdsmen, they will see that there are alternative ways of producing livestock instead of running up and down with cattle going to people’s farms to cause all kinds of problems. We want to solve the problem.
“What is unhelpful is politicising the situation and passing legislation that you know that you cannot implement. So, we have taken a position and we are working round the clock to implement that position.
“These herders emanate from the north and we are going to centralise them. We cannot do it overnight. We need billions of naira. This is just one ranch that is costing N10 billion.
“I have 14 grazing reserves in Kaduna State and I will like to turn them into ranches. Do I have 14 times N10 billion? I don’t have,” the governor said.