Ogun State’s world-class cattle ranch is not RUGA
Sir: When the Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun said sometimes ago that the state was planning to have a world-class cattle ranch and an abattoir, what erupted from the good gesture was the noise of “RUGA”, to my disbelieve, the governor had a good intention, not the type of ranch where herdsmen will have a field day to trample on our farms.
The issue of the state having a world-class cattle ranch came up when the governor played host to a team from the Irish Dairy Milk Company who were looking at setting up shop in the state and export their produce to China and other parts of the world. Isn’t that a good thing if milk will be produced in the state? It will avail the state an opportunity to have an increase in its internally generated revenue, jobs will be available for our youths too.
When the story dropped, the reaction was huge, with different schools of thought believing the story would malign the administration of Abiodun, alas! That does not seem to be the issue, as the governor was able to impress it on the doubting Thomases that the proposed world-class cattle ranch was not a form of RUGA but an avenue for the state to increase its internally generated revenue.
The dairy company when it fully starts work would need a ranch to get milk for production. What another way to make more money for the state, if not through the process of having a world-class ranch that would produce meat for consumption and also produce a large percent of the milk that would be needed by the company.
After the reactions from the people, the governor had a press conference, where he said categorically that the issues that have surrounded herding and ranching in the country were worrisome but that his administration was glad that an international diary company was on the verge of setting up shop in the state, an investment that would require the setting up of proper ranches in the state.
At the meeting, he said he had to clarify the issue and let the mind of the people to be at rest, as his administration would never give room to any form of ‘RUGA’ as that was the position of all the South Western state governors at a security meeting held recently in Ibadan and Ondo.
It is important to also note that the world-class cattle ranch would be done through a Public-Private Partnership, it would have a world-class abattoir, the ranch will make it possible for milk, beef, and ram, even the internally generated revenue of the state would be improved on. If this is done, one thing that is sacrosanct is that the process would definitely bring an end to herding in Ogun State and other South Western states.
Agriculture is one of the biggest pillars of the Abiodun administration could avail unemployed youths job opportunities as workers in a world-class cattle ranch and abattoir if well harnessed, so, what better way to harness the potential a world-class cattle ranch and world-class abattoir provide if not through the setting up of a ranch.
In Ogun State, we have had our own fair share of issues relating to herdsmen clashes, herders tampering with farms, herders entering and shooting villagers, it is time to join hands together and support this lofty idea.
Obasan Oluwafunso wrote from Ogun State Ministry of Information and Strategy.