Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to make funds available for private businesspersons to set up cattle ranches in the state.
Obaseki made the appeal on Wednesday when he visited the President at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, the governor affirmed that while many southern states had ratified the anti-opening grazing law as agreed, Edo State had yet to do so because it wanted to be sure it could enforce the law.
Obaseki stated that he told Buhari that the people of Edo had resolved that ranching was a private business.
He added that the Federal Government should make funds available for interested individuals under the National Livestock Transformation Programme since it (ranching) was expensive.
He said: “Principally, there were four issues I discussed with him. First has to do with the position of Edo State on the anti-grazing law. As you know, most southern states have passed laws relating to open grazing, but Edo has not, because we want to ensure that whatever laws we pass are laws that we can enforce.
“We’ve had extensive consultations with our people, extensive town hall meetings, to deal with the issue that, yes, we do not want open grazing, it is out-modeled, it’s outdated, however, what are the options?
“If we are asking that we should now have ranches and these cattle should now be constrained to specific areas, such as ranches, then who provides the land?
“My people say that, as far as they’re concerned, ranching is a private business and therefore, just like every other agricultural venture, those involved should provide the land.
“As you already know, it is expensive, it is not cheap to run and manage ranches. So, what I came to discuss with the President was that since the people of Edo would rather invest privately, those who are interested want to make it a private concern, then the National Livestock Transformation Programme, which is now being implemented by the federal government, should acknowledge our model, and should also be able to help people benefit from the funding that is now being made available for people who want to go into the livestock business and make investments in ranches and other similar livestock programmes.
“He, as usual, took notes, and I’m sure he’s going to do something about it.”