The federal government has said it would use some of its lands in parts of the country as ranches to curb the farmers and herders crisis in Nigeria.
This was due to the rejection of the grazing reserves proposal by many governors in the country.
But, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has said the federal government still plans to establish the ranches.
“The latest decision is that the government has more land than required, even as far as ranching is concerned,” a director in the ministry Tolu Makinde told Punch.
“There are various pieces of land in different locations across the country that have been documented and gazetted, the Federal Government has decided that it is better to use them than ask state governments to donate land.
“So, the decision has been taken and the issue now is funding, but as soon as the release from the 2018 budget starts to come in, the government will come up directly with what it intends to do. So many options are being considered.”
On where the lands are located, he said that “Before Nigeria got independence, the colonial masters actually had land scattered from Maiduguri to Sokoto, up to Oyo. These were large expanses of land that were mainly left for only grazing.
“And so, when the herders are migrating with their cattle, they go to these pieces of land; they don’t go to the land of other people.
“But problem started when we now decided to create states, as some of the land fell within some states. And some state governments decided to take them over.
“However, the ones that are documented and gazetted right now are more than enough for the Federal Government to use, instead of asking state governments to donate.
“So, it is the gazetted land that the government is trying to do something about as well as the identified grazing reserves.”