Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, has expressed satisfaction with the progress of work at the multi- million dollar Bobi Grazing Reserve located in Mariga/Mashegu Local Government Areas of the state.
This is just as the state government said it would bring together investors and stakeholders interested in the development of the Reserve to present position papers on how to move the facility forward.
Gov. Sani Bello, who spoke to journalists shortly after an inclusive visit to the Reserve, said the state government is further expanding the multi- purpose Dam to, not only supply water for the cattle and pasture, but for intensive irrigation and fishery activities.
“We are also constructing a modern spillage as well as an enhance embankment to protect the Dam and give it more strength because we have since realized that water is so central to the successful development of the grazing reserve,” he stated.
The governor disclosed that the reserve has cultivated about 300 hectares of pasture which is quite sufficient to feed 9,000 cattle adding that, when the programme is completed, excess pasture would be available for sale to any part of the country.
He also stated that the crossbreeding programme has commenced successfully to produce better breeds for milk and beef stressing that the artificial insemination will also begin in the next few weeks.
“As you can see, we are making progress. As part of attraction to the programme, we are trying to encourage and enhance the capacity of women in terms of improving their economic strength by improving the capacity of their cows from producing 1-2 litres to 10-15 litres of milk per day,” the governor said.
He noted that the state government is looking at the whole idea of the Ruga Settlement Programme more from the security rather than the economic point of view, adding that the incessant farmers/herders conflicts is partly responsible for the increasing rise in Armed Banditry, especially in the north.
The state chief executive said the grazing reserve will increase the state government’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) overtime but, most importantly it would empower the people and create jobs, particularly for women and youths.
The consultant handling the development of the reserve and Emir of Muri in Taraba State, Alhaji Abbas Tafida, disclosed that the programme, when completed, is expected to empower about 9,000 people while their income and that of the state should increase by approximately N9 billion per annum.
He called on all Fulani herders to embrace the huge opportunity provided by the state government through the establishment of the grazing reserve, emphasizing that the entire project, when completed, would provide individuals the opportunity to do better for themselves.
Alhaji Abbas Tafida advised the state government to fence the whole Grazing Reserve and install CCTV cameras as part of security measures to protect individual, government and private investments on the massive expanse of land.
In another development, the State Government says it is set to organize a ‘Road Show’ that will bring together all investors and stakeholders interested in the development of the Bobi Grazing Reserve to present a position paper on the progress level and take-off of the project among others.
Gov. Sani Bello, who disclosed this during his recent visit to the Reserve alongside the State Executive Council members, explained that the state government would invite its partners on the Ruga Settlement Programme to sit and discuss statistics and other economic parameters that would ensure or guarantee a win-win situation for all.
He stated that substantial amount of resources have been invested by the state government in the development of the reserve and that it can even begin to generate money from the over 300 hectares of Pastures already available for sale.
Gov. Sani Bello said, when the project becomes fully operational, a tax system will be introduced, not only to raise revenue profile of the state but for security purposes as well.
According to the governor, the state government will make the Bobi Grazing Reserve a model in the country, hence the need to place it on international trajectory by strictly following global best practices in its development and actualization.