No Free Land for Ranching in Oyo—Governor

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By Ahmed Rahma

The Oyo State Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, has stressed that the state will not provide land for free for ranching as it believes it is a private business.

Mr Makinde said this to clarify a tweet in which he revealed that Oyo State will adopt the National Livestock Transformation Plan, which is already being implemented in Kwara State.

The Governor, after a meeting with his Kwara State counterpart, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, said on Twitter, “We also agreed that the National Livestock Transformation Plan which is already being implemented in Kwara State would be implemented in Oyo State leading to further collaborations between both states on economy and security.”

But his tweet was interpreted by many to mean an implementation of Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) settlements, which many Nigerians had in the past kicked against.

Reacting, one of the app users, @olufunkeajibul1, said, “I hope the National Livestock Transformation Plan is not the same RUGA. If yes, Mr Governor please tread with caution. But no, please fire on all salvos.”

Another @Itee_esq said, “Your Excellency Sir, hope you are not bringing RUGA to Oyo State through the back door.”

@Carol-Ukoha said, “They changed RUGA to National Livestock Transformation Plan, can’t you read between the lines? I hope you have a rethink. You cannot afford to fail your people. This decision is unintelligent please.”

The Governor, who reacted to the concerns raised, clarified that the state will not implement the whole of the National Livestock Transformation Plan, only the aspects it finds beneficial.

Mr Makinde said, “My attention has been drawn to this tweet regarding the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan during the joint security meeting, yesterday. For the avoidance of doubt, when I said we would implement the plan, I didn’t mean a wholesale implementation.

“We will be taking aspects which are beneficial for our state. As I have stated on several occasions, our position in Oyo State is that ranching is a private business and should be carried out as such. Our admin won’t be providing land for free to private investors for ranching.”

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