The Ebonyi State Government, on Thursday, rejected the Federal Government’s plan to establish cattle ranches in the state. It said that the state does not have enough land for its people who are majorly farmers let alone having lands for cattle.
It further said that it was embarrassed by reports in the newspapers concerning the inclusion of Ebonyi in the states where the federal government plans to establish pilot ranches; insisting that it never gave their nod to the plan.
The position of the state government was relayed by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Ikechukwu Nwobo, a lawyer, while addressing journalists shortly after the State Executive Council meeting held in Government House, Abakaliki.
The federal government, recently, listed Ebonyi as among the ten states that have provided land for the establishment of its pilot cattle ranches in the country. It told the federal government that there was no vacant land for cattle ranching in the state.
“The state executive council frowned at the news making rounding that the state has directed or provided for a cattle ranch in Ebonyi State. The highest organ of Ebonyi State is the state executive council and the state security council and any decision taken by this council is the last bus stop for the people and government of Ebonyi State.
“Whether the federal government consulted us, we are not aware of that. The State Executive Council has decided and made sure that there is no land for ranching in Ebonyi state.
“We never provided land for ranching in Ebonyi State and it is still our position and that those lands they said is for ranching is for those Northern states that have always been doing ranching which have been gazetted before now.
“We have no idea that we were included in the ranching, we were not gazetted. There is no land for any ranching in Ebonyi State and we are not aware that we are among those mentioned as ranching states.
“The Ebonyi State through the executive council wishes to state that the government has not provided or released any land for ranching, it has no plan to do that. The ranching programme being done by the federal government does not include Ebonyi State and it has been redirected to those states in the North where the farmlands have been gazetted and have ranching ground which they will now revitalize”, he said.
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