Home News Nigerians kick as FG budgets N2.2bn for Ruga
News - August 5, 2019

Nigerians kick as FG budgets N2.2bn for Ruga


Some highly placed Nigerians have registered their displeasure over the revelation that a N2.258 billion has already been earmarked in the 2019 budget, for the implementation of RUGA settlements programme in spite of its suspension.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly (Senate) Matters, Senator Ita Enang, disclosed that a N2.258 billion has already been earmarked.

Chairman of the National Food Security/Herders/Farmers Conflict, Dave Umahi, had in March announced the suspension of the programme owing to what he called lack of consistency with the National Economic Council (NEC) and Federal Government approved national livestock transformation plan, which has programme of rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) resulting from the crisis and development of ranching in any willing state.

Enang, who spoke when he hosted students of Law School, Abuja, at the weekend from Akwa Ibom State, said the word Ruga is not derived from Hausa or Fulani, but an acronym for Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) initiated in 1956 during the colonial era and is not intended to islamise, Fulanise or colonise anybody.

Supporting his claims, Enang cited the 2019 federal budget, volume 1 under the ministry of agricultural and rural development item number ERGP 5208 where the sum of N2.258 billion was provided and budgeted for the grazing programme.

Enang stressed that the National Assembly members were not against the Ruga programme because they were aware of it and had been approving funds for its implementation.

But, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has vowed to resist it just as National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Uche Achi-Okpaga, a lawyer, told Daily Sun that no part of South East would be given up for Ruga as the region does not have enough land for its use let alone having the one for some ther people..

MASSOB leader, Uchenna Islamic said the programme will be a futile adventure because the exercise will speedily and finally bring the doom of the geographical expression called Nigeria.

“The implementation of Ruga settlements will never see daylight in Igboland,” he stated.

The Archbishop Emeritus of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie asked the Federal Government to immediately withdraw the N2.2 billion Ruga implementation amount captured in the 2019 budget.

He said since Ruga had been suspended, there was no way the amount should appear in the budget in the first place.

Alhaji Tanko Yakasai argued that there was never a time the Federal Government declared that it was abandoning the controversial Ruga project.

Alhaji Tanko, who was not surprised at the retention of the fund in the budget, held that the word “suspended” has no semantic relationship with “discontinuing” the RUGA project. Daily Sun

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