The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate) Senator Ita Enang said at the weekend that the federal government has earmarked N2.258 billion in the 2019 budget for the implementation of its Ruga programme.
Enang, who disclosed this when he hosted students of Law School Abuja from Akwa Ibom state, appealed to state governments, especially in the southern part of the country, to support the implementation of the Ruga cattle settlement by making land available for the programme.
”Ruga is not a plan to seize land from people neither and it’s not meant to fulanize or colonize anybody. The programme is meant to address the issue of cattle roaming and destruction of farmland which would put an end to the herders/farmers crisis.
”The idea of Ruga graduated in 1978 into the Land Use Act which states that a portion of land has to be reserved for grazing to avoid the destruction of farm produce by cattle. Over time cattle roamed and destroyed farms hence the introduction of the policy to address the issue,” he said.
He said the National Assembly members are not against the Ruga programme because they aware of it and had been approving funds for its implementation.
He said the objective of the budget for Ruga is to promote cattle breeding and meat production.
He said the programme is an integrated farm system which has schools, good road, tractors and mechanisatiom, agricultural integration, with a provision for primary healthcare, vetinery, schools.
He said the government also appropriated N300 million for water sanitation, N400 million for development for sweet potatoes and N350 million for ginger development, amongst several other budgeted.