Niger government to revive, expand Bobi Grazing Reserve


FILE PHOTO: Cattle grazing.

Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State

The Niger State Government says it is reviving and expanding the 30,000 hectares Bobi Grazing Reserve in Oro village of Mariga Local Government, as part of efforts to curtail farmers/herdsmen clashes.

A statement by Jibrin Ndache, Chief Press Secretary of the Governor, said on Sunday in Minna that Gov. Abubakar Bello stated this while inspecting the site on Sunday.

It quoted Bello as saying that reviving the grazing reserves was part of Federal Government’s efforts toward ending the clashes that had continued to claim human and animal lives.

Bello said that a committee had been put in place to meet with herdsmen on modalities for operating the reserve.

The statement added that government was assessing facilities at the grazing reserve with a view to renovate them and expand the fields to cater for a minimum of one million ruminant animals.

It quoted Bello as saying that “our forefathers foresaw a situation of conflict among us that was why they provided the grazing reserves over 50 years ago’’.

It said that existing structures and facilities would be renovated and refurbished while schools would be revived to meet the educational needs of the herdsmen.

“We will need more grazing areas, so it has become necessary to grow grasses. We will also need milk collection centres and veterinary services at the grazing reserve,’’ Bello said.

According to him, the Niger government is planning to enforce a cattle tax system for security purposes.

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He said that the tax regime would ease the monitoring of herdsmen occupying the grazing reserve area.

“To ensure the success of the programme, we are considering tax, though we have not concluded our arrangement,” he said.

He said that the tax system was good for security purposes as strange elements would easily be detected.

Bello warned those that had encroached into the land for farming to steer clear of the gazetted area to avoid clashes with herdsmen.

“I don’t expect any farmer here. I have just been told that there are some farmers who are here illegally.

“So, if there is any farmer here, I have just given an instruction that notice should be given and they should know that this is strictly a gazetted Grazing Reserve,’’ Bello said.

Mr David Sado, Officer in Charge of the Grazing Reserve, told the governor that past administrations had not paid any attention to the facility ever since it was handed over to the state government in 2006.

Sado explained that Bobi Grazing Reserves consisted of 30,000 hectares of land divided into seven blocks with about 700 households and six earth dams, a solar-powered and motorized boreholes and five pasture blocks.

Bobi Grazing Reserve was established 50 years ago and was handed over to the Niger government in 2006.

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