The president announced the establishment of the committee on Thursday in Abuja following the submission of a report from the National Conference on Livestock Reforms and Mitigation of Associated Conflicts in Nigeria.
The conference was convened by former governor of Kano State and chairman of All Progressives’ Congress (APC), Dr. Umar Abdullahi Ganduje.
The president in a statement by presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale said the committee is expected to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, and propose recommendations aimed at fostering a peaceful co-existence between herders and farmers while ensuring the security and economic well-being of all Nigerians.
“The federal government is fully prepared to cover the cost of acquiring the land. These opportunities will provide gainful employment for our veterinary doctors, while opening doors for the private sector as the provision of new educational opportunities for herders’ and their children emerge. Medical facilities will be established. This is a life-changing opportunity that we have.
“Imagine us producing enough milk for our school children. Imagine us becoming net exporters of cheese and yoghurt. Imagine us producing the skin massively with a major Nigerian leather industry. Imagine us providing cold storage facilities and employment across the nation. These things are possible in front of us,” the president said.
He also praised the committee members for their diligent work in examining the complex issues related to livestock management, land use, and security.
“Out of every tragedy, if you are careful, you will see an opportunity. We have faced this conflict for some time. We know it is a homegrown problem. It is very hard for people to stay away from their traditional, old ways.
“I tried in 2018 to bring about a solution to this problem, but it proved elusive. But I’ve been told not to ever give up and today I believe the solution is here,” the president stated, referring to the committee report, which contains several recommendations.
“It is not the fault of herders and farmers that this crisis has persisted. It is the fault of the leadership who failed to find immediate solutions to solve their problems. Leadership is about thinking and doing,” he said.
In his remarks, Ganduje recalled that during his tenure as governor of Kano State, he had hosted the national conference as part of a deliberate effort to promote the modernization of livestock production, while strengthening the capacity of local authorities to manage relationships and amicably resolve conflicts between herders and farmers.