Reps probe alleged theft of CBN’s N100b fund to build ranches

The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the N100 billion allegedly released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the construction of modern mini ranches in states.


Adopting a motion sponsored by Mr. Karimi Sunday at the plenary session presided by the Deputy Speaker Sulaimon Yussuff Lasun yesterday, the lawmakers resolved to establish an ad-hoc committee to investigate the disbursement and utilisation of the money released for the project.


Sunday, a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) representing Yagba federal constituency of Kogi State said the National Economic Council approved the release of the N100 billion naira to various states also to boost agricultural yields and end conflicts arising from the traditional method of grazing.


He remarked that the development was further compounded by the fact that there has not been any ranch constructed anywhere in the country to account for the expenditure of the money.


The House of Representatives may also be considering handing down one-year imprisonment to ministers and heads of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that fail to obey legislative summons.


Under the proposed bill, an option of N1 million fine would be imposed on any one found wanting of committing the offence. The bill said that the sergeant-at-arms would take the role of the police in the enforcement of arrest warrant issued by the National Assembly.


The deputy speaker who acknowledged concerns raised over the bill, referred it to relevant committees of the House for consideration.


The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions has queried the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), over the seizure of goods worth millions of Naira belonging to D & K Golden Investment Company Limited without due process.

Senate Suspends Grazing, Ranches Bills’ Passage

Senate has stepped down the second reading of three bills on cattle rearing in the country.

They are ‘A Bill for An Act to Provide for the Establishment of Grazing Areas Management Agency and For Other Related Matters 2016’ sponsored by Senator Rabi’u Kwankwaso (Kano-Central) and ‘A Bill for An Act to Provide for the Establishment of National Ranches Commission for the Regulation, Management, Preservation and Control of Ranches and for Connected Purposes 2016 sponsored by Senator Barnabas Gemade
(Benue North-East).

The third is ‘A Bill for An Act to Control the Keeping and Movement of Cattle in Nigeria and for Other Related Matters Thereto 2016’ sponsored by Senator Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu-North).

The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who raised a point of order when the lawmakers began to treat the bills during Wednesday’s plenary, pointed out that the Senate lacked the powers to deal with matters that are on the Concurrent List, except on the Exclusive List.

The Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume, also supported Ekweremadu’s point.

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Government To Build Ranches, Grazing Reserves As Solution To Herdsmen Violence

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Engineer Babachir David Lawal on Thursday said that the government was going ahead with decision to establish ranches and grazing reserves across the country as a solution to the incessant clashes between Fulani cattle rearers and local farmers.
He made the remark while receiving a delegation of Tabital Pulako Njode Jam Foundation, led by its Chairman Alhaji Abdul Bali, in Abuja.
Lawal, in a statement by the Director (Press) in the office of the SGF Bolaji Adebiyi, also noted that nomads from outside Nigeria have migrated into the country and have been the ones perpetuating most of the crimes on the farmlands.
He assured that government will do the needful to enlighten Fulani Herdsmen on how to make cattle rearing more profitable by utilizing the ranches and reap other social and political benefits that such settlements will offer.
The Foundation, he said, was set up to look into the problem of clashes between Fulani Cattle Rearers and Farmers.
“The foundation, in its submissions, is also convinced that the nomads from other lands are responsible for the senseless killings on the farms and urged the government to strengthen control at our land borders. The foundation is ready to partner with government to bring the situation under control.”

Buhari, Governors Agree On Ranches to End Herdsmen/Farmers Clashes

President Muhammadu Buhari and the state governors have agreed that ranches should be established to address incessant farmers/herdsmen clashes instead of grazing reserves, Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau, has disclosed.


Lalong, who made the disclosure on Sunday in Jos at the dedication of the new headquarters of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), said that grazing reserves would not address the clashes and the killings.


“The President and governors agreed that there would be no grazing areas; ranches would be established by government where the cattle would be kept in one place and fed.

“Government will provide facilities like medical, schools and other needs in the ranches,” he said.


Lalong said that the ranches would not be for Fulani herdsmen alone but for whoever rears cattle.


He said that the Buhari’s administration inherited myriads of problems, saying that herdsmen/farmers clashes was just one of such problems and urged the people to be patient.


He urged Plateau citizens to pray for the state and the Federal Government as all the problems could not be solved in one year.


Also speaking, the Senator representing Plateau South, Lt.-Gen. Jeremiah Useni (rtd), said that delegates at the 2014 National Conference agreed that grazing reserves should be a state affair, not federal.


He said that it would be difficult for farmers to support the establishment of grazing areas as they would not donate their farms for grazing purposes.

In his sermon, Rev. Anthony Farinto, former ECWA President, called on leaders at all levels to urgently address the difficulties Nigerians were going through.

The cleric, who condemned the recent killing of a military official, urged the Federal Government to do all within its power to address the security challenges facing the country.

“If a serving Colonel could be kidnapped and killed, it portends serious danger for the country,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Bala Bantex, attended the service.



Establishment Of Ranches, Solution To Herdsmen, Farmers Frequent Clashes- Ortom

Governor-elect of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has promised to establish ranches in order to prevent the incessant bloodshed occasioned by clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the state.

Ortom was of the view that the frequent clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers, which had claimed many lives and led to destruction of property and cash crops across the country, would be averted with the establishment of ranches nationwide.

Benue has been a flash point of deadly clashes between herdsmen and indigenes of the state especially those in the rural areas, who are mostly farmers.

In March, one of such clashes led to the death of 84 persons in the hands of the herders with properties worth millions, destroyed. But the governor-elect, who spoke at the Japan International Cooperation Agency in Abuja on Thursday, explained that his government would find a lasting solution to the bloodshed in the state, stressing that security of lives and properties was a top priority for him.

Ortom, who is a former Minister of State for Trade and Commerce, sought assistance from JICA on education, agriculture and sanitation, noting that Benue could benefit from Japanese technology and expertise in these areas.

According to him, Benue State needs quick surgical intervention in various sectors, adding that a partnership with JICA will assist his administration to make concrete progress in core areas that can impact on the lives of the citizens.

He said, “I have always said it that ranching is the best way to end the incessant farmers/Fulani herdsmen clashes in different parts of the country. In other parts of the world, you don’t see herdsmen walking on the road with cattle and other animals; but this is still being done in Nigeria, sadly.

“So, my government will invest in ranches because security of lives and properties is a core area for us. We will end the clashes and bloodshed caused by herdsmen/farmers conflicts and make Benue a peace haven for all”.