Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) met in Kaduna on Thursday and resolved to address issues of insecurity, Almajiri, ranches and other challenges bedeviling the region without further delay.
The meeting which was held at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna, was presided over by the forum’s chairman and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong.
In attendance were governors of Plateau, Niger, Jigawa, Zamfara, and Kwara states.
Other governors who sent their representatives included, Benue, Borno, Sokoto, Nasarwa, Kaduna, Katsina, and Kano among others.
The NGF chairman in his opening remarks said they would receive the report of the committee on insecurity in the North headed by the Katsina State governor, Aminu Masari, and discuss the recommendation on how to halt the disturbing spate of insecurity occasioned by kidnapping, banditry and armed robbery in the region.
The committee which was set up in May, 2019, has as its secretary, Aminu Tambuwal, the governor of Sokoto State.
The chairman also spoke on the almajiri challenge in the region.
Lalong, also said the governors would deliberate on the National Livestock Transformation Plan proposed by the Federal government, which he said was always confused with Ruga.
The chairman later commissioned a shopping mall built by the New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC), located along Muhammadu Buhari Way, in the city centre.
He explained: “You will recall that during our last meeting, we deliberated extensively on many issues, particularly the nature of the insecurity currently bedeviling our region and how to deal with the situation.
“We consequently set up a committee under the Chairmanship of His Excellency, Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State, to inter-alia, develop a comprehensive regional plan of action that could bring lasting solutions to the lingering crises.
“At this meeting, we shall receive a briefing from this committee and also deliberate on their findings and recommendations.
“Another major issue we shall also deliberate on is the issue of livestock management in the country and in particular our region, which has continued to generate discourse, controversy, misinformation and even politicisation.
“You are aware of the many attempts to find lasting solutions to the incessant farmer-harder clashes, cattle rustling and associated criminalities such as banditry, kidnapping among others.
“At this meeting, we shall deliberate on the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), which was commissioned by the National Economic Council chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and seek to support and strengthen the development of market-driven ranches in the livestock ecosystem for improved productivity through-breed improvement, pasture production, efficient land and water utilisation.
“As a region that holds the comparative advantage in livestock management as an economic and socio-cultural vocation, we need to come up with a common front on how to synergise and draw from the funds available for the programme and ensure that we derive maximum benefits for our people.
“Hopefully, we shall develop strategies on how best to deal with the misinformation about the NLTF, which is sometimes confused with the Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) project.
“This is important because of the urgent need to cultivate the buy-in of all stakeholders and provide a conducive environment for nomadic herders and those who rear livestock using the private/public partnership model to key into the National Livestock Transformation Plan of the Federal government.
“In the course of our engagements here in Kaduna, we shall commission the New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) shopping mall which was awarded in 2014 with the aim of consolidating the investment portfolio of the company and promoting its mission of advancing the commercial and industrial development of our region.
“You will recall that we set up a committee under the Chairmanship of His Excellency, the Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar to study the current structure, mission, and vision of the company and come up with a road map on how best to resuscitate and reinvigorate the company.
“We have to think out of the box especially when it comes to the economy of our region which has so much need that is staring us in the face every day.
“We also have to continue our discourse on how to solve the Almajiri phenomenon which continues to be a social and security challenge that we cannot, but find solutions to.”