RUGA: Kano Names Forest For Settlement, Reveals Next Plan
Herdsmen and their cattle in Bayelsa (file image courtesy: Anthony Okpu/BJO/NAN)

The committee set up for the Establishment of Ruga and Milk Market in Kano State has presented their report to the Kano State governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje after 6 weeks of the assignment.

Concise News learned that the committee was inaugurated on August 18, 2019, comprising 26 members, including professionals, administrators, Fulani herders, security agents, Veterinary Doctors, academics, among others, presented six terms of reference.

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The presentation of the committee took place at the Council Chamber, Government House, Kano, the Chairman of the committee, Jibrilla Mohammed, revealed that Kano State was the first to embrace the controversial RUGA settlements.

“Kano State under your leadership, Your Excellency, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, was the first in the country to embrace the nationally controversial RUGA Project,” Mohammed said.

”While some of your colleagues did pontificate and derided the livestock transformation plan, you saw its socio- Economic benefit and refused to be swayed by the negative propaganda that erupted against the project. The setting up of this committee is but an affirmative demonstration of your commitment to the project.”

He further disclosed that they visited 5 forests across the state before they finally resolved to Dansoshiya Forest in Kiru local government area. Among other forests visited were Panyabo in Doguwa local government, Duddrum Gaya in Ajingi local government, Dunawa in Makoda and Bichi local governments areas.

“After deliberations, careful analysis and assessment in consideration of the aims and objectives of government in the project, the committee settled for Dansoshiya forest in Kiru local government for the initial take-off of the project,” he revealed.

According to the Chairman of the committee, Dansoshiya forest has the advantage of being very large with a sizeable number of Fulani settlements, with a good arable land for the cultivation of grass.

In order to hasten the process, as demanded by Governor Ganduje, during the inauguration of the committee, the master plan for both RUGA and Milk Market has already been produced.

Mohammed said they employed the services of an Architect, who proposed two model houses of 2 bedrooms, which would be put up in the form of clusters of 6 houses per cluster. During their visits to all the sites, the chairman of the committee said they contacted all stakeholders including herders and farmers.

“Most importantly, the two streams flowing through the forest and the availability of underground water, make the forest an obvious preference for the take-off model. We then felt that it is the best choice.

“The committee also recommended other facilities like industrial borehole, veterinary clinic, dispensary, earth dam, milk collection centre, primary school, Islamiyyah school, Mosque, dump collection site and security outpost. All these are included in the master plan,” he revealed.

The committee chairman also added that the committee also held discussion with experts on grass cultivation and grass supply companies.

”After careful assessment of the topography and soil composition of Dansoshiya forest, it was recommended that Napa grass, among other species of grasses, which is very nutritious be planted in the forest.

”We recommend Dangwauro as the most ideal site for the construction of Model Milk Market. This is because of the advantage of accessibility, especially from the milk-producing areas of Tudunwada, Doguwa, Gwarzo and along Maiduguri road axis.”

On the other side of the proposed milk market, the committee admitted that there is provision for cold rooms, toilets and stores among other things.

He further disclosed that the recommendations of the committee would not only address the conspicuous issues of farmers/herders clashes but would also pave way for the Fulani herders to join the formal state economy, that could ultimately create more chances for the overall development of the state in particular and the nation in general.

Responding to the development, Governor Ganduje disclosed that aside from the issue of insecurity, which he described as simply a product, his main aim for the establishment of RUGA settlement is to change the narrative from socio-cultural to socio-economic, for the advancement of Fulani themselves, the state and the nation in general.

“Don’t bother yourself with RUGA or whatever name it is called, the fact remains that Fulani must be settled and enjoy basic social amenities like any other citizen.

“They need to be educated. Education is key. So they need to have that, simple. We are thinking of establishing modern Abbatoir also. That haulage of cattle from North to South should be replaced with transportation of processed meat,” Ganduje emphasised.

Ganduje revealed that his administration was in serious talks with Islamic Development Bank on the issue, assuring that, the talk has reached an advanced stage, saying, “we are now at the implementation stage of our collaboration. To tell you how serious we are,” he concluded.