The National Economic Council, NEC, yesterday approved N100 billion for National Livestock Transformation Programme, NLTP with a declaration that it does not accommodate foreign pastoralists.
NEC also lamented that Nigeria has lost 22.6 million barrels of oil to the activities of petroleum pipeline vandalism and stealing of crude oil in the first six months of this year.
The quantity lost it said was estimated at $1.35 billion (N481.95 billion).
This is as NEC has said that the National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP is distinct from Ruga and that the that the program was voluntary for states to participate.
Briefing State House Correspondents at the end of NEC, meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, Governor Dave Umahi said that out of the N100 billion recommended by the council, 80 percent will be provided by the federal government while 20 percent will be made available by the participating states or private sector.
Recall that the Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed reportedly said Fulani herdsmen from Chad, Niger and other neighbouring countries will benefit from the National Livestock Transformation Plan.
Mohammed, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday, said since Fulani herdsmen were nomadic, it would be inappropriate to deprive them from benefitting from the livestock plan just because they were not from Nigeria.
The governor, whose state is among those that will be part of the initiative, said the Fulani exist in many countries across Africa and share a brotherhood which transcends boundaries.
When asked how the government would ensure that only Nigerians benefit from the livestock plan, Mohammed said, “I think there is a lot of mistrust and misconception as regards the Fulani man. The Fulani man is a global or African person. He moves from The Gambia to Senegal and his nationality is Fulani.”
The NLTP which is targeted at supporting the development of Nigeria’s livestock sector, is to be implemented in seven pilot states of Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara.
The plan is being implemented as a collaboration project between the Federal and State governments, farmers, pastoralists and the private sector.
However, fielding questions from State House correspondents, Governor Umahi declared that foreign herders were not part of the programme.
Umahi who was joined at the briefing by the governor of Edo State Godwin Obaseki and the governor of Gombe state Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya said the plan was not only targeted at cows but a holistic strategy to address animal houseboundary.
According to him, “a N100 billion budget was proposed by the committee to support the project.
”Federal Government is to provide 80 percent in grant to support states, while States will contribute land, project implementation structure, personnel and 20 percent cost of the project.
“Council resolved today (Yesterday) that there is need to look at the trans-human west African regional protocol, you cannot allow such movement cattle without registration and monitoring.
”Our budget did not include none Nigerians and so, I am not aware if the governor said so and It’s possible you did not hear the governor very well, but there is no way we can make our programme which the Federal Government will put eighty percent and the States will put twenty percent and then we are now going to accommodate none Nigerians, it’s not part of the programme.
And of course, what we have said here is that they would have to review our ECOWAS protocol and see what we can do about that.
”Of fact, we commend the Federal Government for any reason they closed the borders, and this is the kind of thing we are looking for. While we are trying to reposition this programme, there will be temporary restrain for such. NEC did not make any budget to accommodate none Nigerians. This is very important”
Giving details of the presentation at the NEC, he said, “As the chairman sub-committee on herders/farmers crisis, NEC was today briefed. The committee presented a National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) 2019-2028 today.
” The plan is not targeted only on cows but a wholistic strategy to address animal husbandry. 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 develop (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.”
“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.
“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 emphasis 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.
“NEC adopted the National Livestock Transformation Plan 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 which is a product of NEC in liaison with federal government. ”
Also briefing, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State said If the loss from oil theft was not checked Nigeria will lose $2.7 billion by the end of the year.
He said that the sub-committee of NEC which he chaired has recommended to the Council the need to restructure the maintenance and ownership of pipelines in the country.
The recommendations included prosecution of criminals and creation of special court to handle the cases.
He said the committee also recommended that NNPC should endeavour to engage the National Intelligence Agency to track countries benefiting from the stolen crude oil.
According to him, the Council resolved that the recommendations should be forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the Minister of Petroleum.
He said, “The 13-member adhoc-committee chaired by me, submitted its report to the NEC. The committee was constituted to address the impact of vandalization, oil theft, illegal bunkering on oil production.
” It was also to check the effectiveness of the activities of the joint task force and other security agencies in curbing the menace of oil theft. And also to consider the set up of special Court to prosecute offenders amongst others.
” The terms of reference of the adhoc committee is to include restoring and sustaining the four major trunk pipelines which moves crude oil to the terminals, to access the challenges and draw up a road map to guide further actions towards finding a lasting solution towards the problem. The committee could coopt individuals to facilitate its work and we are supposed to update council regularly.
“The adhoc committee discovered that there were huge loses. 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.
“The loses that were recorded in the first half of the year were broken down as follows: The Nembe creek trunk-line lost 9.2 million barrel, the Trans-Niger pipeline lost 8.6 million barrel, the Trans-Focadoes Pipeline lost 3.9 million barrel, Trans-Escravos pipe we lost 877,000 barrel.
“The adhoc-committee reported that the governance structure of the pipeline is such today that no one is held accountable whenever there are bridges and when these losses occur.
“That the slow and inadequate prosecution of thieves despite numerous arrests and seizures have continued to encourage this menace.
“That the absence of petroleum products filling stations in most of the oil producing communities around the Niger Delta make them resort to illegal bunkering and illegal refineries.
” That huge internal and external market of stolen products exist across the west coast of Africa and also the subregion.
Therefore, the adhoc committee made the following recommendations:
That there is need to restructure the maintenance and ownership of oil pipelines as a way of tackling the perpetrators of crude and other products.
“That we should have a legal framework that will ensure that criminals are duly prosecuted, imprisoned and their assets confiscated. That there should be special courts to trial offenders and also have a special legal task force to coordinate the prosecution of arrested offenders as well as trained special judges to handle cases of oil theft.
“That NNPC should be encouraged to engage with the national intelligence agency (NIA) to identify the markets for stolen petroleum products across the continent.
” That the governors of the oil producing states should set up actions to develop the communities that are most prone and through which these pipelines run with their 13 percent derivation allocation as well as implement programmes that will be impactful and make life easy for the people.
“It noted that the NDDC in the Niger Delta Development Corporation which has the mandate to undertake development in this region should be restructured to perform its role better.
” That they should emphasis creating employment opportunities for young people and youths in the region.
That the proposed funding arrangement to be jointly funded by the federal, states and the oil companies to ensure the communities through which these pipeline traverse get some benefits to encourage them to protect these lines.
“Therefore, council resolved as follows:
That recommendations should be presented to the president who is also the minister of petroleum for the final decision for implementation.
” The chairman of council also asked the NNPC to make a presentation to council on the state of PMS and other products which are smuggled across the borders.”
Source: Vanguard News