Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said that Kaduna State needs ₦140 billion for 14 ranches to fully settle herders and their families in the state.
He stated this on Tuesday while addressing journalists at the All Progressives Congress (APC) secretariat in Abuja, arguing that the measure is the most sustainable means to boost livestock production.
“It is not a matter of populist legislation or saying that tomorrow this or that; it is not the solution. We have taken a position as northern states governors and we are implementing that,” he said.
“In my state for instance, we are developing a huge ranch at Damao to centralise the herders and that is the solution (on the) long term. But can it be done overnight? No. This project that we are doing will cost us about ₦10 billion. The CBN is supporting us with about ₦7.5 billion and [it] will take about two years to do.”
While El-Rufai maintained that ranching remains the recipe for the recurring farmer-herder conflict in the country, he described the anti-grazing law enacted by some of his colleagues as unrealistic.
According to him, although ranching is the ideal solution to the problem, it cannot be done overnight. He urged those pushing for the immediate ban on open grazing to exercise patience as time and resources are required to have ranches across the country.
“We will be settling about 1,500 Fulani herders’ families and [I] hope they will see that there are alternative ways of producing livestock instead of running up and down with cattle and going to people’s farms and causing all kinds of problems,” Governor El-Rufai added.