Benue State Government has said it did not reject the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) approved by the National Economic Council (NEC).
In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary ( CPS) to the governor Terver Akaae , and made available to the media, the government however said the NLTP must be in line with Anti- Open grazing prohibition Law which provides for ranching in Benue state.
NEC is a statutory organ offer the Federal government composed by all state governors with the vice president as chairman.
The statement said, “it has become necessary to state that the Benue State Government at no time rejected the National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP, approved by National Economic Council, NEC which has the 36 state Governors as members.
“What Benue rejected and still rejects, are cattle colonies, Ruga settlements and grazing reserves which were neither discussed nor approved by NEC.
“NEC agreed that regarding the NLTP, each state would be free to adopt aspects of the plan which suit its peculiarities.
“In the case of Benue State, we already have a law on ranching and there is no provision in the legislation for open grazing.
“In line with the above, when Benue stakeholders recently met and studied the NLTP document critically, they resolved that the plan has other aspects of infrastructural development from which the state would benefit. Prominent among such provisions in the document is the plan for resettlement of those affected by herdsmen attacks and other forms of violence whose property have been destroyed in different parts of the state.
“The stakeholders subsequently issued a communique which made it clear that the state would embrace the National Livestock Transformation Plan to the extent that it does not breach provisions of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state.”
The statement continued “It was also resolved during the meeting that a technical team of experts be put together to study the NLTP document and identify areas suitable for implementation in Benue State based on peculiarities of the state.
“The meeting also resolved that the NLTP should be domesticated in the state and to ensure that it conforms with the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state.”