By Lawrence Olaoye
The National Economic Council has proposed a N100 billion budget to support the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) across the country.
Briefing newsmen yesterday after the NEC meeting chaired by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, Ebonyi state governor who also doubles as the sub-committee chairman on herders/farmers crisis, Dave Umahi, clarified that the NLTP was different from the suspended controversial Ruga program.
He also said governors are at the liberty to join the NLTP or not saying it was not mandatory to access the budget.
Edo state governor, who chairs the ad-hoc committee to investigate the oil theft in the Niger Delta region, Godwin Obaseki, also disclosed that the Council proposed the establishment of special courts to prosecute suspected oil thieves in the Niger Delta region.
He disclosed that the Council resolved to summon the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) make a presentation it on the state of PMS (petrol) and other products which are smuggled across the borders.
Umahi said he presented the 2019-2028 NLTP to the Council saying the program was not only restricted to cows but was a holistic strategy to address animal husbandry in the country.
“The plan has six pillars 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.
The six key pillars include: economic development (investment), conflict resolution, justice and peace, humanitarian relief and early recovery (that is to IDPs), human capital development and cross-cutting issues such as gender, youth, research and information and strategic communication,” he said.
According to him, “The committee proposed an implementation guidelines to guide federal government and states. N100 billion budget was proposed to support the the project. Federal government is to contribute 80 percent in grant to support the project while states will contribute land, project implementation structure, personnel and 20 percent cost of the project.”
On the Council resolution, he said “Council resolved today that there is need to look at the trans-human West African protocol, you cannot allow such movement of cattle without registration and monitoring; Council emphasized the need to continue to establish that the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) is a creation of NEC and state governors and of course minister of agriculture is also a member of this committee and minister of interior is also a member, and it is entirely distinct from Ruga.”
He continued “NEC adopted the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) January 18, 2019 and it is a creation of national economic council of course in liaison with the federal government. States will determine whether or not to participate. Federal government did not impose this plan, participation remains voluntary. What we are talking about is National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) which is a product of NEC in liaison with federal government.”
Also at the briefing was the Gombe state governor, Inuwa Yahaya, told newsmen that the Council the Secretary to the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), Dr Jumoke Oduwole, was mandated to take Nigeria to top 100 in the 2020 Wirld Bank Ease of Doing Business Index. He was also mandated to achieve the required political buy-ins across all arms and levels of government.
Obaseki, in his briefing said the Council resolved to present the recommendation for the establishment of special courts to prosecute oil thieves to the President for action.
On the loss of crude to thieves, the Edo governor said “The adhoc committee discovered that there were huge losses. In fact the NNPC reported to the the committee that the 22.6 million barrels of crude oil valued at approximately $1.35 billion was lost during the first half of this year. And if this situation is not contained in two years we would have lost in excess of $2.7 billion.”