From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
The British Government has indicated interest to go into partnership with Niger State Government in the area of ranching, livestock and diary production as well as game reserve to enhance maximum output in those areas of agricultural production in the state.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Niger State Government, Mrs Mary Noel Berje as the fall out of the meeting held between the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing CB and the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello at the British High Commission office in Abuja.
In an interview, shortly after the meeting, the British High Commissioner said her government is according high will priority and support to these areas not only for economic reason but essentially because of its potential to address the current security challenges in Nigeria and across the Sahel belt.
She stressed the urgent need to address the issue of herdsmen moving around the country because their livelihoods are under threat and the young men are also at the risk of being coopted into Banditry that’s going on in parts of the country.
“So, there are both economic reason and security reason for us to collaborate on this issue and we are looking to it straight away. We will share British expertise on how we have gone about it and also bring in companies that will come in to Niger State to offer that expertise”.
In his remarks, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State said his government is committed to implementing whatever is necessary to boost livestock development generally and reduce the number of conflicts between herders and farmers.
“I think it is no longer a luxury, it is a must and necessary that we take this proactive measure to stop this violence that is going on and consequently bring about the desired economic prosperity of our people in particular and the state in general.”