By Ikenna Osuoha
Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger says creating grazing reserves and enforcing cattle tax are necessary in tackling herders-farmers conflicts as well as boosting security in the country.
Bello said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.
The governor said creating cattle reserves and enforcing cattle tax would not only usher in peace among communities but increase the per capita income of both the state and individuals.
“We have a programme in which we have invited herders into Niger and allocated 5,000 hectares of land to them to graze their cattle.
“Our purpose is to reduce herders and farmers conflicts as well as tackle insecurity because these herders pay taxes.
“If a civil servant that earns N30,000 pays tax, why not a Fulani with many cows?
” From our data, a Fulani with two cows that produce 15 to 20 litres of milk daily earns about N200,000 a month,” Bello said.
He said his administration is committed to the continous pursuit of peace and security irrespective of the challenges.
The governor also said that the cattle tax would enable the government to track every herder.
“With the cattle tax, every one of the herders will be known one on one and we will be able to know when strangers come in.
“Also, we will provide every need of the Fulani to herd his cow in the grazing reserve, then there will be agreement for them to buy pastures for their cows from companies in exchange for milk,” he said.
Bello further pledged the commitment of his administration to sustaining an harmonious atmosphere for both farmers and herders to contribute to stabilising the economy of the state and boosting security.