The Federal Government has expressed its deep concern over the occurrence of incessant grazing related clashes across some parts of the country.
Vice President Namadi Sambo stated this at the Fourth (4th) meeting of the National Council on Shelterbelt and Afforestation (NCSA) which held at the State House, Abuja.
The Vice President said that, “the NCSA programme has become a security issue since it poses a great challenge to our internal security situation”.
He stated that, “government attaches very great importance to the success of the Shelterbelt and Afforestation Programme aimed at reforming and revamping the ecological system of both livestock and plants as has similarly been successfully achieved in other countries such as Senegal, Rwanda, Burundi e.t.c.”
Vice President Sambo cautioned on timely cultivation in order to attain the planned objective of the programme noting that, ‘now is the best time as the rains have already commenced’.
The Vice President called the attention of the members of the NCSA to the fact that both the Shelterbelt and the Great Green Wall (GGW) programme commenced on a slow note and directed that action be expedited on the cultivation of crops particularly economic trees and more efforts be channelled towards revitalizing the entire ecosystem to facilitate the economic upliftment of the people”.
He said that funding for the programme is directly the responsibility of government though further funding from International Development Partners and financial institutions as the World Bank, African Development Bank (ADB) and the private sector will be welcomed.
Vice President Sambo called for the collaboration of the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) and also impressed on the need for launching effective campaigns of the programme to the grassroots levels, working with the relevant agencies of government to ensure the required outreach and success of the programme.
To this end, the Vice President directed the Minister of Agriculture to as a matter of urgency make a power-point presentation to him on March 25th 2014, on all issues of grazing reserves to enable the government seek timely solutions to them. He further requested to be furnished with the plan of action with timelines till the end of the year.
Earlier the Minister of Environment Laurencia Laraba Mallam notifying the Vice President on the progress of the GGW programme said that initial consultations with the community leaders and community mobilization and sensitization exercise were conducted in December 2013. She said that preparations towards supporting local communities to raise about five million seedlings for 2014 planting have been concluded and a Programme Implementation Unit (PIU) has been established.
Present at the meeting were the members of the NCSA made up of the Ministers of Youth Affairs, Mr. Boni Haruna and Women Affairs, Zainab Maina, the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Education, Water Resources and Environment, representatives of relevant other ministries, Commissioners of Environments from the states (Zamfara and Kebbi) and other stakeholders.