Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The National Economic Council (NEC) proposed on Thursday a budget of N100 billion for the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan.
The Council proposed that the Federal Government would bear 80 percent of the proposed budget, while participating states would support with the balance of N20 billion and land for the programme.
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Farmers/Herders crisis and Ebonyi State Governor Mr Dave Umahi said this while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, adding that the proposal has been submitted to the NEC by the Subcommittee.
Umahi explained that, contrary to the widely held belief that the NLTP was concerned chiefly with cattle management, the Plan rests on three planks, including care for persons displaced by the crisis and an educational component.
The Governor added that states are free to include any livestock of their choosing in implementing the programme, stressing that the NLTP is voluntary and would accommodate only those states that express an interest.
Though no date has been set for the effective take off of the programme, Umahi explained that the proposed N100 billion will still be reviewed by the next NEC meeting in October before a date is decided.
Meanwhile, Nigeria is reported to have lost $1.3 billion worth of crude oil to theft and pipeline vandalism in the first quarter of 2019.
The figure was presented to the NEC by Edo State Governor Mr Godwin Obaseki, who chairs the 13-man Subcommittee mandated to investigate the impact of attacks on oil installations in the creeks of the Niger Delta.
The Subcommittee warned that if the situation was not arrested immediately, losses could accrue to much as $2.7 billion by the end of the year.