The Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) has commended Kebbi state governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu for his commitment to the development of agriculture, particularly pastoralism to enhance livestock production.
The commission also commended him for ensuring the success and integration of its members states including Niger, Benin and Nigeria on cross border cooperation as it affects transhuman and pastoralism.
The commendation was made by ECOWAS representative , Mr. Alain SY Traore at the official commencement of validation meeting on holistic program for the development KADO cross border regions of Kebbi State, Nigeria, Dossou, Niger Republic and Alibori, Benin Republic held at the conference hall of Shagalinku, hotel, Birnin Kebbi on Monday.
He said last year during the same meeting hosted by Kebbi State, the three-member countries made a commitment to develop a holistic investment plan on cross border issue concerning transhuman and pastoralism as well as kick start infrastructural investment.
According to him, the outcome of that meeting resulted in the draft resolution which participants from the three member countries would look at and validate before the meeting of governors in the tripatite agreement endorsed.
‘ If the draft resolution is validated as agreed by the three countries, ECOWAS would be committing 1.5 million dollars yearly for infrastructural development .
‘ Out of which Kebbi State, Nigeria, Dossou, Niger Republic and Alibori, Benin Republic would earn 350 thousand dollars each yearly for the same purpose”, he averred.
The action he stressed, would facilitate peace and economic development at the cross border zone as well as reduce terrorism and banditry in the region.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director- General of National Boundary Commission of Nigeria, Adamu Adaji said the support for the program couldn’t have come at a better time owing to the security challenges arising from conflicts between herders and farmers across West Africa and the Sahel.
While commending the political leaders in the trio-border regions for showing priority interest for the program,their comment led to further action by development partners such as ECOWAS,CILSS and GIZ to drive the process further by engaging a consultant to undertake a thorough and holistic study .
The study focused on the promotion of livestock mobility and production in the trio-region under the reference and with special focus on the grassroot actors in the border communities.
He said the choice of Kebbi State to host the Validation meeting was because of its geostrategic location bordering two West African countries of Dossou,Niger and Alibori, Benin Republic.
He expressed utmost appreciation to Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu for his interest in the project, through his passion and commitment.
He also commended Governor Bagudu for his support to livestock production and commitment towards food production which according to him is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agricultural agenda to making Nigeria attain food security .
Pastoral production system, he further added ,was the main source of Livelihood for large population in West and contribute greatly to the economy of the region, hence the need to give top priority on the project.
The Commissioner for Animal Health and Fisheries, Aminu Garba Dandiga who represented the Kebbi State Governor at the event thanked the participants from the three countries in the region for finding Kebbi worthy to host the workshop and pledged the commitment of Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, to sustaining support for the success of the meeting.
The meeting which is being attended by participants from the ECOWAS countries largely from Nigeria, Niger and Benin Republics is expected to end on Thursday where Governors of Kebbi, Nigeria, Dossou, Niger and Alibori Benin are expected to endorse a working document on the holistic program for the development KADO cross border regions.