Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, says if the federal government provides N140 billion as support funding, the grazing reserves in the state will be converted to ranches.
El-Rufai’s comments come amid efforts to address farmer-herder clashes across the country — some states in the southern region have banned open grazing.
Speaking with journalists on Tuesday at the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja, el-Rufai said the ban might not be a solution to the problem.
He disclosed that northern governors had already taken a position on ranching, but said it would cost a lot to implement.
According to him, there are 14 grazing reserves in Kaduna, and it would cost over N100 billion to convert them to ranches.
“We have taken a position as northern state governors and we are implementing that. And in my state, for instance, we are developing a huge ranch to centralise the herders. And that is the solution, a long-term solution. But can it be done overnight?” he queried.
“This project we are doing will cost us about N10 billion. The CBN is supporting us with about N7.5 billion. And it will take about two years to do. We will be settling Fulani herdsmen and their families.
“I hope that they will see that there are alternative ways of producing livestock, instead of running up and down with cattle, going to people’s farms to cause all kinds of problems. We want to solve the problem.
“What is unhelpful is to politicise the situation and pass legislation that you know that you cannot implement. So, we have taken a position and we are working round the clock to implement that position.
“These herders emanate from the north and we are going to centralise them. We cannot do it overnight. We need billions of naira. This is just one ranch that is costing N10 billion. I have 14 grazing reserves in Kaduna state and I will like to convert them into ranching. Do I have 14 times N10 billion? I don’t have.
“If the federal government will give me N140 billion, I will convert the other thirteen into ranches and make sure that nobody comes out with a cow or sheep in Kaduna state, because I will have enough ranches to take care of everybody. That is the solution. You can legislate, but let us wait and see. And I wish them the best of luck.”