Nigerian government suspends Ruga Settlement Project

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

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The Nigerian government has suspended the Ruga Settlement Project, saying it is inconsistent with the National Livestock Transformation Plan approved by the federal government and the National Economic Council.

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State announced this on Wednesday while briefing State House Correspondents after a meeting of the National Economic Council’s Committee on Farmers/Herders Crisis presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Umahi said the committee on farmers/herders crisis met to deliberate on the approved programme of the National Economic Council and the federal government, tagged the National Livestock Transformation Plan.

“We are aware that today the president has suspended the implementation of the Ruga Programme, initiated and being implemented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources because it is not consistent with the NEC federal government approved National Livestock Transformation, which has programmes of rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons resulting from the crisis and also development of ranching in any willing state of the federation. 

“The National Livestock Transformation Plan, the beauty is that what the NEC and the federal government approved is a voluntary programme to all the 36 states who may like to participate. 

“So, it is not compulsory; it is for any state that is willing—the word there is willing—that will key into the programme. 

“Any state that is interested in this programme is required to bring up a development plan that is keyed towards the implementation in line with our own programme here that is unique to a state based on the challenges that it has in respect of the crisis.

“That’s the decision of this sub-committee. “

The Ruga Settlement Project has for the past week generated a lot of debate across Nigeria leading to the suspension by the president.

Among others present at the meeting were Governor Abubakar Atiku-Bagudu of Kebbi State, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State and officials of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Nnenna.O