Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has denied reports making the rounds that the controversial plan to establish Ruga Settlements in some parts of the country is being supervised by his office.
According to a statement released by his Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media & Publicity, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo supervises the National Livestock Transformation Plan approved by State governors under the auspices of the National Economic Council (NEC) and not the Ruga initiative.
Akande explained that “NEC on January 17, 2019, approved the plan based on the recommendations of a Technical Committee of the Council chaired by Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State. Other State Governors on the committee and Working Group of NEC are those from Adamawa, Kaduna, Benue, Taraba, Edo, Plateau, Oyo & Zamfara – mostly the frontline States in the Farmer-Herder crises.”
“The National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) 2019-2028 is a programme to be implemented in 7 pilot states of Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara (as decided by NEC in January), being States in the frontlines of the Farmer-Herder crises. Afterwards, six other States have indicated readiness to also implement the plan. They are Katsina, Kano, Kogi, Kwara, Ondo, and Edo states,” he added.
He disclosed that the plan has six pillars, namely; economic investment, conflict resolution, justice and peace, humanitarian relief and early recovery, human capital development and cross-cutting issues such as gender, youth, research and information and strategic communication, “through which it aims to transform the livestock production system in Nigeria along market oriented value chain while ensuring an atmosphere of peace and justice.”
He assured that the Federal Government would not compel any state government to give out land.
The Ruga initiative has been generating controversy since Benue and Taraba state governments rejected Federal Government’s request to be given land for the purpose.