Atiku Bagudu, governor of Kebbi State of Nigeria, on Saturday, called for a permanent framework to regulate cattle movement from the Sahel to other regions in Africa, and make pastoral work easier.
Governor Bagudu spoke at the 2021 Pastoralists Week held in Birnin Kebbi, capital of Kebbi State, an event that was organized by the State of Dosso in Niger Republic in association with the State of Alibori in Benin Republic, the State of Kebbi in Nigeria, EOWAS – Economic Community of West African States – and the boundary authorities of the three participating countries.
Governor Bagudu noted that: “Animal Husbandry is an important work in West Africa, and I am happy that we all appreciate the importance of this sector and I am glad that the CILSS, the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel, is leading efforts to generate resources that will help us to develop the sector.
“There was a statement that about 300 million dollars funding has currently been mobilized by the CILSS and that is most important. What this funding can do, is to help us draw the attention of the world to the potentials in animal husbandry in West Africa.
“This is because it requires more than that to develop and we must have a way of communicating it to the ECOWAS leadership, perhaps the African Union (AU) leadership, that we need them to be unanimous in this area so that we can generate billions of dollars that can support the pastoral sector in West Africa,” the governor said.
He noted that the pastoralism sector was full of hardworking people, looking for opportunities to cater for their children and give them a good education, as such any investment in the sector would yield the desired results, including better returns on investment.
“So that Dosso, Alibori, Nigeria and Kebbi State, supported by ECOWAS and CILSS can create this framework, while we are waiting for our national leaders to endorse it and send it to other countries, so that they can come and learn from us,” he noted.
In his remarks at the event, Kebbi State ex-governor, Sa’idu Nasamu-Dakingari, said that the issue of pastoralists was not about land, “but the rain and climate change,” explaining that the expansion of land for farming had continued to pose serious challenges to pastoralists, who were always migrating during dry seasons from the Sahel to Southern regions, for pasture.