The International Crisis Group (Crisis Group), a non-governmental organisation, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take the national livestock transformation plan (NLTP) seriously in order to curb the farmer/herder clashes in Nigeria.
The federal executive council (FEC) in 2019 approved the NLTP, and had planned to attract N2 trillion into the country’s economy through the livestock sector.
But implementing the plan across the country has been a challenge.
In its report titled “Ending Nigeria’s Herder-Farmer Crisis: The Livestock Reform Plan,” and released on Tuesday, the Crisis Group recommended that the federal and state agencies working with donors and investors, should prioritise securing funds, training personnel and communicating the plan’s benefits to herders and farmers.
“Federal and state authorities should demonstrate stronger political commitment and better leadership in rallying support for the Plan and driving its implementation,” part of the report said.
“President Buhari and his ministers should seize every opportunity to speak out, particularly drawing attention to the Plan’s potential benefits to herders, farmers and the overall national economy.
“The president might need to convene a cabinet-level retreat, at which he and his aides would properly brief all ministers and other relevant senior officials about the Plan and the strategies for meeting its goals.
“These officials should subsequently stay focused on promoting the Plan and stop suggesting alternatives that tend to dilute support.
Leaders of various ethnic, regional, religious and other pressure groups sometimes enjoy considerable legitimacy among their supporters.
“In seeking to boost support for the Plan, therefore, federal and state governments should seek to bring leaders of the most prominent groups on board, prevail on them to eschew hostile rhetoric and enlist their voices in support.
“Concerted messaging on the Plan, by both government officials and leaders of these diverse groups, would go a long way toward broadening and strengthening citizen support for accelerating and sustaining implementation.“
The group also recommended that there must be effort to improve on security in many states.
The group advised that military and police operations against armed groups should remain a key priority, including measures to reduce the movement of the large number of illicit firearms across the country.
“The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, under the interior ministry, should also expand training and deployment of its Agro-Rangers Squads around the grazing reserves and proposed ranches,” it added.
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