Following months of the proposed Ruga settlement initiative by the Federal Government, the committee for the Establishment of Ruga and Milk Market in Kano State has submitted its report to the governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje after 6 weeks of tedious assignment. The committee was inaugurated on August 18, this year.
It has 26 members comprising professionals, administrators, Fulani herders, security agents, Veterinary Doctors, academics, among others. With six terms of reference.
At the presentation, which took place at the Council Chamber, Government House, Kano, the Chairman of the committee, Dr Jibrilla Mohammed, disclosed that, “Kano State under your leadership, Your Excellency, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, was the first in the country to embrace the nationally controversial RUGA Project.”
Also commending the governor for taking the bull by the horn, he said, ” While some of your colleagues did ponticate and derided the livestock transformation plan, you saw its socio- Economic benefit and refused to be swayed by the negative propaganda that erupted against the project. The setting up of this committee is but an affirmative demonstration of your commitment to the project.”
Dr Mohammed reveals that they visited 5 forests in the state before finally resolving to Dansoshiya Forest in Kiru local government area. Other forests visited were Panyabo in Doguwa local government, Duddrum Gaya in Ajingi local government, Dunawa in Makoda and Bichi local governments areas.
“After deliberations, careful analysis and assessment in consideration of the aims and objectives of government in the project, the committee settled for Dansoshiya forest in Kiru local government for the initial take-off of the project,” he revealed.
According to the Chairman of the committee, Dansoshiya forest has the advantage of being very large with a sizeable number of Fulani settlements, with a good arable land for the cultivation of grass.
Explaining that, “Most importantly, the two streams flowing through the forest and the availability of underground water, makes the forest an obvious preference for the take-off model. We then felt that, it is the best choice.”
In order to hasten the process, as demanded by the governor during the inauguration of the committee, master plan for both RUGA and Milk Market has already been produced.
Mohammed said they employed the services of an Architect, who proposed two model houses of 2 bedrooms, which would be put up in form of clusters of 6 houses per cluster. During their visits to all the sites, the chairman of the committee said they contacted all stakeholders including herders and farmers.
“The committee also recommended other facilities like industrial borehole, veterinary clinic, dispensary, earth dam, milk collection centre, primary school, Islamiyyah School, Mosque, dump collection site and security outpost. All these are included in the master plan,” he disclosed.
The committe chairman also added that, the committee also held discussion with experts on grass cultivation and grass supply companies, “…after careful assessment of the of the topography and soil composition of Dansoshiya forest, it was recommended that Napia grass, among other species of grasses, which is very nutritious be planted in the forest.”
On the establishment of Milk Market (Kasuwar Nono) the committee, after analyzing all the sites they visited during their assignment, they recommend Dangwauro as “…the most ideal site for the construction of Model Milk Market. This is because of the advantage of accessibility, especially from the milk producing areas of Tudunwada, Doguwa, Gwarzo and along Maiduguri road axis.”
In the proposed milk market the committee disclosed that there are provision for cold rooms, toilets and stores among other things.
He hopes further that, the recommendations of the committee would not only address the salient issues of farmers/herders clashes, but would also pave way for the Fulani herders to join the formal state economy, that could ultimately create more chances for the overall development of the state in particular and the nation in general.
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In his response, governor Ganduje said, apart from the issue of insecurity, which he described as simply a product, his main aim for the establishment of RUGA settlement “…is to change the narrative from socio-cultural to socio-economic, for the advancement of Fulani themselves, the state and the nation in general.”
He called for an effective change of the whole issue from being looked at through the lenses of tradition to that of the economy. Emphasizing that, “Don’t bother yourself with RUGA or whatever name it is called, the fact remains that Fulani must be settled and enjoy basic social amenities like any other citizen.”
“They need to be educated. Education is key. So they need to have that, simple. We are thinking of establishing modern Abbatoir also. That haulage of cattle from North to South should be replaced with transportation of processed meat,” Ganduje emphasized.
Ganduje revealed that his administration was in serious talks with Islamic Development Bank on the issue, assuring that, the talk has reached an advanced stage, “We are now at the implementation stage of our collaboration. To tell you how serious we are,”