Members of the House of Representatives at yesterday’s plenary adopted a motion preferring the establishment of ranches for Fulani herdsmen to the proposed cattle colonies.
To realise the objective, the members urged the Federal Government to work out modalities of the establishment with States interested in ranches.
The members also urged the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to liaise with State Ministries of Agriculture to speedily educate and encourage the herdsmen on the benefits of ranching while mandating its Committee on Agriculture Production and Services to ensure its implementation.
Titled “Need to Educate and Encourage Herdsmen on the Benefits of Ranching instead of the Proposed Cattle Colonies in every State of the Federation”, the motion sponsored by Hon. Mohammed Ogoshi Onawo (Nassarawa State) was roundly debated by the members. Moving the motion, Onawo recalled that most of those clashes so far witnessed between the herders and farmers especially in Benue State stemmed from the practice of herdsmen roaming in the wild across the length and breadth of the country in search of grazing pastures for their cattle and as a result, trespassing into, and damaging crops in farms”, he said:
“The House notes the incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers that have presented serious security challenges in Nigeria; “Aware that the grazing practice of the herdsmen is not only exposing them to danger as they fall prey to cattle rustlers and kidnappers, but also results in conflicts with farmers whose crops are trampled upon by the cattle;
“Also notes the Federal Government’s proposal to establish cattle colonies in every State in Nigeria to cater for the herdsmen and their cattle as a lasting solution to the continuous clashes which, in most cases, result in senseless and avoidable loss of lives and properties; “Concerned that the decision to establish cattle colonies in each State could be in violation of Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and the Land Use Act as those colonies will remain the exclusive reserve of the individual State governments and as such, would not guarantee total freedom to the herdsmen;
“Observes that cattle rearing is not an exclusive reserve of the Fulanis as other tribes also engage in the business; “Determined to provide a lasting solution to the incessant conflicts between herdsmen and farm owners, hence modern breeding practices should be encouraged; “Convinced that ranching will offer longer lasting solution to the recurring conflicts between herdsmen and farmers, if the herdsmen would be fully sensitized and educated about the benefits of the program, as it would enable them assume full ownership of those ranches”.
Contributing to the debate, Hon. Ezikiel Adaji (Benue State) stated that ranching was the best practice the world over.
He said: “Ranching is the best practice all over the world. We cannot continue to witness these incessant killings.” Also speaking, Hon. Peter Akpatason (Edo State) intoned that “cattle rearing is purely a business.”
For Hon. Femi Fakeye (Osun State), “There is need for cultural shift. The herdemen need to be enlightened on the benefit of ranching.”
Fakaye’s position was corroborated by Hon. Joan Onyemachi Mrakpor who said that cattle business stood the chance of dividing Nigeria if quick solution was not found to the challenge.
“Until we come to make ourselves know that this is a business ..cattle business is going to divide this country. When there is a challenge in the homes, the best thing to do is to find solution. All over the world, the solution is ranching.
We travel abroad, we see it. I don’t think ranching is the problem. It is the willingness to do ranching”, he said. On his part, Hon. Nasiru Ahmed from Kano State however opposed the motion, arguing that ranches would be more expensive for the herders as prices of feed are high.
The Committee was given 8 weeks to conclude its assignment and report back to the House for further legislative action.
Meanwhile, barely 51 days after Fulani herdsmen invaded Guma and Logo council areas of Benue State, killing 73 people mostly women and children in the process, the police have arrested principal suspects in the unpredictable mayhem.
The four principal suspects, according to our source, were arrested in Tunga town of Nasarawa State between 16 and 19 February 2018 by Intelligence Response Team of the Force.
The suspects, according to the police, were nabbed in connection with the Killing of Sgt Solomon Dung and other police officers besides many innocent citizens in Benue State.
In the heat of the killings in Benue State, the State Governor, Samuel Ortom, had accused Nasarawa State of harbouring the killers in his state
Four persons have been arrested in Nasarawa State over the killings in Benue State, including those of policemen.
In the heat of the killings in Benue State, the State Governor, Samuel Ortom, had accused Nasarawa State of harbouring the killers in his state.
The accusation was promptly dismissed by the Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura, who said the state was not harbouring those carrying out the killing in Benue State.
However, operatives of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team were said to have arrested four of those involved in the Benue State killings in Nasarawa State following a directive by the IGP, Ibrahim Idris.
Idris had directed the arrest of all persons involved in the killings in Benue State and those in possession of AK47 Rifles and other prohibited arms.
The suspects were arrested in Tunga town in Nasarawa State between February 16 and 19, 2018 by the IRT in connection with the killing of Sergeant Solomon Dung and other Police Officers and many innocent Citizens in Benue State.
Those arrested were Alhaji Laggi, 40, the mastermind and gang leader of the herdsmen group; Mallam Mumini Abdullahi, 34; Muhammed Adamu, 30; and Ibrahim Sule, 32.
Suspects have confessed to the killings and mentioned gang members in possession of police rifles they took from the slain Officers and others in possession of arms.
“The suspects have confessed to the killings and mentioned gang members in possession of the police rifles they took from the slain police officers and others in possession of arms. “ Serious follow up is in progress in Benue,Taraba and Nasarawa states. “DIG Operations Who is heading the Operation have addressed the press on behalf of the IGP today In Makurdi Benue State,” the source said.
Minister Blames Judiciary For Prisons’ Congestion
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has blamed the congestion in Nigeria’s correctional facilities on the country’s Judiciary, explaining that the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCOS) was not allowed by law to reject inmates sentenced to correctional centres or to release them.
Aregbesola, represented by Special Adviser on Nigerian Correctional Service, Suleiman Tala, stated this while delivering a paper at a policy advocacy conference entitled, “Decongestion of Correctional Centres: Status Quo”, organised as part of the 60th-anniversary celebration of the Order of The Knights of St Mulumba, Nigeria, Lagos Metropolitan Council, which was held in Lagos, adding that the primary responsibility of NCOS is to hold offenders pending the adjudication of their cases before a law court.
“It is important for the public to be aware that the NCOS and the Ministry of Interior are trying their best to tackle the issue from different angles as the length of time the inmates stay at the custodian centre is not determined by NCOS but by the justice system. I may not be able to reiterate exactly what the challenges are with the judiciary, however, as it affects the NCOS we are doing all we can not to compromise the traditional responsibility of the NCOS,” he stated.
Representing the Inspector General of Police, Baba Usman, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, accepted that the police contribute to the congestion but gave his reasons.
“Inconsistence of the appearance of police officers to give evidence at trials has been identified as one of the alleged causes of prolonging trial but the IGP has mandated officers must attend court cases as at when due. The police are being hampered by a high level of distrust between the citizens and their police institution,” he stated.
Also at the conference, Lagos State Catholic Archbishop, Alfred Adewale Martins, who was represented by Rev. Paschal Uwaezeapu, stated that decongestion of the prisons would continue to be a matter as long as the government has refused to fix the country.
“The prison would continue to be congested if we don’t fix the society. As long as our society is a place where everybody takes for himself without considering the neighbour then our prison would continue to be congested. If we need to fix the prison we need to fix the family. These prisoners come from a family. We need to fix the education system also. We need to promote justice, without all these, the prison will soon overflow,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Lagos Metropolitan Grand Knight, KSM William Adebisi, urged the government to declare a state of emergency on the congestion of prisons.
“The government needs to take the matter seriously as it affects the health of the inmates, economy of the company and behavioural change of the inmates,” he stated.
FG Seeks $3bn With Eurobond Offer
The Federal Government has announced plans for a Eurobond issuance in the International Capital Market (ICM) to raise $3billion.
The Debt Management Office (DMO) said, yesterday, that Virtual meetings with investors have been scheduled for today, and September 20, 2021.
It said, “In order to avail local investors the opportunity to invest in the Eurobonds, meetings will also be held with local investors.
“This is the first time local investors will be included in the Roadshows, and this is one of the reasons why a Nigerian Bookrunner (Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Services Ltd) was appointed as one of the Transaction Advisers.
“Through the Eurobond issuance, Nigeria is expected to raise up to $3billion but no more than $6.2billion.”
According to the DMO, the issuance for which all statutory approvals have been received, would be to implement the New External Borrowing in the 2021 Appropriation Act and that “Proceeds are for the financing of various projects in the Act.”
The agency gave further insight, saying, “In addition to providing funding to part-finance the deficit in the 2021 Appropriation Act, the issuance of Eurobonds by Nigeria benefits the country in many other strategic ways; amongst which are: 1. It is an inflow of foreign exchange, leading to an increase in External Reserves.
“External Reserves help support the Naira Exchange Rate, and Nigeria’s sovereign rating.
“When Nigeria raises funds externally, through Eurobonds, it frees up space in the domestic market for private sector and sub-national borrowers. In effect, it helps the sovereign not to crowd out other borrowers in the domestic market.
“The issuance of Eurobonds by Nigeria has opened up opportunities for Nigeria’s corporate sector notably banks, to issue Eurobonds to raise capital in the ICM.
“By so doing, their capital base has been strengthened to provide banking services whilst also meeting regulatory requirements. Nigeria has a sovereign yield curve in the ICM, extending up to 30 years.
“The local listing of Nigeria’s Eurobonds on the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. and the FMDQ Securities Exchange Ltd., have increased the range of products on these two (2) exchanges and their respective market capitalization.
“Overall, Eurobond issuances by Nigeria and the investor meetings that precede the pricing have provided a strong global platform for Nigeria to tell its own story and opportunities available in Nigeria for investors.”
The Transaction Advisers appointed by Nigeria for the issuance were: International Bookrunners – JP Morgan, Citigroup Global Markets Limited; Joint Lead Managers -Standard Chartered Bank and Goldman Sachs; Nigerian Bookrunner – Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Services Ltd; Financial Adviser – FSDH Merchant Bank Ltd; while White & Case LLP, was appointed International Legal Adviser; and Banwo&Ighodalo would serve as Nigerian Legal Adviser.
The last time Nigeria accessed the ICM was November 2018.
Insecurity: Put Nigeria First, FG Tells Media
The Federal Government has tasked the media to put Nigeria first in the reportage of the country’s activities, particularly the fight against insecurity.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the call in Abuja during the ceremony of the renaming of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Headquarters Building after the former Managing Director and Board Chairman of NAN, late Wada Maida.
Mohammed said it may seem obvious and trite, but for any professional, including a journalist in Nigeria to be able to carry out his or her responsibility at all, the nation must first exist, in peace.
“In other words, if the country goes down, all professionals and everybody go down. It is that stark, and this is why I want to use this platform to appeal to our media to put Nigeria first”, Mohammed said.
Speaking further, the minister said if one picked up most newspapers, watched most television stations or listened to most radio stations in the country, one will be right to think Nigeria is a country at war.
While acknowledging that there were challenges in the country, especially in the area of security, Mohammed, however, said the Buhari administration had not only acknowledged the challenges, it is earnestly tackling the challenges.
“A good example is the decisive manner in which our gallant troops are tackling the banditry in the North-West or the way they are combating the terrorists in the North-East. Our security agencies have also successfully tackled the separatists in the South-East and South-West and the militants in the South-South. Unfortunately, these efforts have only been perfunctorily reflected in the reportage of the security challenges that we face. This is not only unfair, especially to those who are sacrificing their lives to keep us safe, it is unpatriotic.
“To illustrate the damage this non-acknowledgement of the efforts of the security agencies pose to the country, let me tell you what transpired when I recently hosted some members of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) UK Chapter, who visited me in my office here in Abuja. They said some of their colleagues who would have come to Nigeria for their programme tagged,‘A Week in and For Nigeria’ during the month of July, did not come out of fear of the security situation in Nigeria. However, those who made the trip said they travelled to their hometowns across the country and returned to Abuja safely. If Nigerians in the diaspora can be afraid to come to their country, imagine how foreigners, including investors and tourists, will feel about coming to the country.
“Whatever image problem Nigeria is suffering from today is mostly due to the unflattering portrayal of the country by the country’s media.
“Even when some media organisations report fake news, they never have the decency to retract such stories and apologise. They simply move on as if nothing has happened.
“We are not saying the media should not report on the security challenges we face. All we are saying is: Be fair and report accurately the efforts being made by the state and federal governments to tackle the challenges. Even if you don’t want to encourage the men and women in uniform fighting to keep us safe, please don’t discourage them with negative reporting. The security challenges we face today will be successfully tackled and Nigeria will not cease to exist, despite the antics of naysayers”, Mohammed added.
Mohammed congratulated the family, friends and associates of the late Maida for the great and much-deserved honour done to him.
He commended the management and staff of the NAN for coming up with the idea to immortalise the late Maida.
“The Federal Government’s decision to approve the proposal was not difficult, upon realising the role played by Alhaji Wada in making NAN the respectable agency that it is today. A man who was everything from Zonal Editor to Foreign Correspondent to Editor-in-Chief to Managing Director to Board Chairman, a man who built this glistening NAN headquarters edifice deserves to be immortalised by the organisation he served so well in his lifetime”, Mohammed stated.
Mohammed prayed that God will continue to comfort and strengthen the family of Maida, even as he prayed that the soul of the departed continues to rest in peace.
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