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Published On: Thu, Jun 21st, 2018

Southern leaders warn FG against building ranches with public funds

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From: Ayodele Samuel Lagos

The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has rejected Federal Government decision to spend N179b of public funds to build ranches over ten years starting with N70b under this administration .
The Leaders in a statement jointly signed by
Yinka Odumakin ,South West ; Senator Bassey Henshaw, South South ; Prof Chigozie Ogbu South East and Dr Isuwa Dogo for Middle Belt, called on the Federal Government to shelve the idea of committing public funds on ranches and “allow the owners of the business to attend to their business needs in the spirit of “I belong to everybody” mantra of the President .”
They insisted that cattle rearing is a private business in which individuals make billions of Naira with no record of what they pay as taxes .
The group said rewarding herders with public funds to build ranches would only mean that they have killed enough to beat the country into pacification mode.
The group said building ranches with public fund can only encourage other people to arm themselves and cause sufficient killings to get undue concession.
“And it is unfortunate that the Federal Government was making this vexatious declaration while receiving the Chief Executive officer of Friesland Campina of Netherlands without bothering to find out that it was put together by Cooperatives with roots going back to 1879 and is one of the World’s top five dairy companies with annual revenue of 11 billion Euro.
It is only reasonable that those who want to engage in the business should approach the states where they want to build ranches and acquire land to build such with firm commitment to abide by the rules of host communities,” the group said.
They wondered what would our society become if fishermen ,farmers and people in other trades begin to cause bloodbath so the Federal Government could give them special consideration.
“To go ahead with the plan is to say that cattle owners own this Government and that would make other segments of society to say “we have no inheritance in this arrangement.”

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