Herdsmen/farmers clash: NEC committee recommends deployment of more soldiers


Herdsman with AK 47

Vice President Osinbajo

The Working Group of the National Economic Council (NEC) on the herdsmen/farmers clashes headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday submitted an interim report calling for the deployment of more military and security personnel to the flashpoints.

Gov. Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State, said this while addressing State House correspondents on the outcome of NEC meeting held at Presidential Villa in Abuja.

“They have recommended to Mr President that in all the areas where these clashes are prevalent, the military should be moved in to buttress whatever the Nigeria Police and other security agencies are doing in forestalling these problems.

“The committee has recommended, strongly, that the military should move into all forests around areas where the clashes are prevalent with a view to flushing out all bandits that are hiding in those areas.

“The committee has also recommended the setting up and training of Agro-Rangers.’’

The governor explained that the Ranger came about due to the on-going dialogue on the creation of either ranches or grazing reserves and life stock production centres.

According to him, the issue is a problem of nomenclature.

He added that the most important thing was for some measures to be taken in attempting to settle down the herdsmen for them to stop moving with their herds from one section of the country to the other and creating problems.

Abubakar said that the committee recommended that whichever option a state had keyed into, there would be rangers to be trained to police the ranches or grazing reserves.

He noted that the committee pointed out that under the Land Use Act, state governors superintended land in their various states.

He said the committee noted that the Federal Government was in no position to and would not impose on any state any type of solution, be it ranch or grazing reserve.

The governor said that Osinbajo also informed NEC that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved a committee, headed by him (Vice President) to go into the places which encountered crisis to ameliorate the people’s suffering and resettle them.

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The governor added that NEC discussed the current fuel scarcity in the country based on the report presented by the GMD of NNPC, Mr Maikanti Baru.

Baru had submitted that the crisis arose because of the interplay of the exchange rate of Naira and dollar as well as the crude price at the international market causing a rise in the landing cost of refined products imported by NNPC.

He said the GMD said it made the operation of the price regime “almost impossible without some measure of new return for whoever that is in the process”.

He said that as at Thursday, most of the independent marketers had stopped importing PMS while NNPC, the only importer now, was beset with a lot of setbacks.

He said NNPC announced the highest rate of under-recovery of N25 for each litre of imported PMS.

Abubakar said that after the report, NEC charged its committee interfacing with revenue generating agencies, headed by Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo, to interface with NNPC to determine the correct price for PMS.

According to him, the committee will compare the prices in neighbouring countries which encouraged smuggling of PMS outside the country.

Also, the Lagos Deputy Gov. Idiat Adebule said NEC received the report of a forensic audit report on revenue generating agencies returns into the Federation Account.

She said the report of about 18 agencies were interrogated by the KPMG audit group which reported that there were both under-remittances and over-remittances but more of under remittances.

Adebule said that the report covered Jan 2010 and June 2015.

She said that the report urged NEC to decide the re-payment plans by the defaulting agencies and also the stepping up of oversight on agencies to forestall relapse.

Accordingly, she said that NEC resolved to expand the ad hoc committee to include an accountant and a lawyer to study the KPMG recommendations and report back to NEC at the next meeting for possible adoption.

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