Cattle colonies: Nigerian govt assures of adequate compensation for landowners

Cattle colonies: Nigerian govt assures of adequate compensation for landowners
January 10 19:10 2018

By Ahmed Idris

The federal government on Wednesday assured landowners of adequate compensation for their lands that would be acquired for the proposed cattle colonies by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development aimed at putting an end to the persistent clash between herdsmen and farmers in the country.

Minister of Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika, who disclosed this at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, said cattle colony had been in operations since 1914 until the nation’s population grew and most of the designated routes were converted to farmlands.

“I am not speaking as an agricultural expert but growing up in the hinterlands, I know there used to be cattle routes – we call them burtali in Hausa language. This was established by the federal government in 1914. It is a designated routes where they (cattle) follow, feed, graze, drink water.

“When that one was available, there was no farmer/herdsmen clash because the routes are specific, identified and mapped and are paid for in compensation over time. But I think due to development and increase in population these routes are either captured or converted to farms.

“The question of colony or grazing land or whatever name they are called is about the same thing really. I don’t think government will do anything without recourse to owners of farm lands and laws of the land,” he said.

He said the planned colonies would not be different from the old practice of reserving certain areas for cattle grazing, adding that the original land owners would be compensated.

Also speaking, Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, said deployment of full military operations to Benue state would be decided after due consultations and appraisal.

He said the matter was receiving attention at the highest level and that deployment of troops is at discretion of higher and appropriate authorities.