MIYETTI Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has urged the Federal Government to establish a livestock ministry as a way to harness the full potentials of the sub-sector of the economy.
The National Secretary of MACBAN, Alhaji Othman Ngelzarma, who made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja noted that such a ministry had been established in some West African countries.
According to him, a mere department under the Ministry of Agriculture will not be able to address the challenges and allow Nigeria benefit fully from the endowments of the livestock sector.
Ngelzarma, “we are calling on the Federal Government to create a ministry that will squarely address all issues relating to the livestock sub-sector of the economy.
“This is because the magnitude of the problem or crisis faced by the livestock sector is more than the one that can be handled by a mere department under the Ministry of Agriculture.
“Some of the enormous problems include shrinking of Lake Chad that is housing millions of pastoralists and so many other natural and man-made factors like cattle rustling, farmer-herder conflicts, kidnapping, banditry and neglect, especially with regard to demarcation of grazing reserves.
“We want an agency or ministry that can squarely handle this issue and resolve it permanently being the practice in most West African countries. They all have a Ministry of Livestock because of the essence they attach to livestock production.
“It is essential for the government to consider the creation of the Ministry of Livestock independent from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
“Let’s have a livestock ministry so that this entire problem can be addressed by an organisation solely charged with such responsibility.”
Ngelzarma also likened the livestock sector as next to petroleum in terms of revenue generation if fully exploited.
He said, “if it can be developed in a better way considering the value chain related to the sector it will create a lot of employment, bring a lot of wealth to the country and to individuals.”
Pastoralists, he said, who are the producers of livestock are gaining little or nothing from their products.
“But if a particular ministry can be established and assigned to handle any problem relating to livestock, it can get the deserved attention it requires. (NAN)