Develop livestock industry instead of searching for oil in North – Herdsmen tell Buhari
Fulani herdsmen under the umbrella of Kulen Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria (KACRAN) have lambasted the federal government’s moves to explore petroleum resources in parts of northern Nigeria. The herdsmen said instead of wasting resources in that regard, the central government should develop the livestock sector of the region for its numerous economic benefits which can turn around the country’s economic fortune. National President of the association, Khalil Mohammed Bello, on behalf of the herdsmen, in a statement issued on Monday in Damaturu, said that Northern Nigeria can do better as it did during colonial era and in the First Republic without petroleum but with livestock farming. “One cannot compare renewable resources with natural deposits such as petroleum resources, which can be replaced with several alternative sources of energy such as biofuel, electricity, solar etc to motorise our engines. “We are all aware that, no matter how abundant country’s petroleum resources is one day the resources will be exhausted or replaced by another source of energy more especially as the entire World now is crying of climate change and air pollution, mainly caused by heavy duty industries that are using petroleum resources for their daily operations. “And even if petroleum resources are not replaced with other sources of energy, it will one day finish, and that is why whenever new petroleum well or wells are discovered, geologists or experts in the petroleum explorations usually state, when that petroleum is expected to be exhausted,” Bello disclosed. The KACRAN national President added that due to the uncertainties associated with petroleum resources countries such as Saudi Arabia, one of the richest oil countries of the world, is currently working seriously towards diversification of its economy in order to stop being dependant on the petroleum resources. “At this juncture, we want to reiterate what we have earlier said that by making this comparison or analysis we are not discouraging government or petroleum Companies from making oil exploration in the Northern part of our country, we are only stating facts as well as saying that let oil exploration be given third position in the North, after livestock and arable farming. “We said so for the fact that, we know if to say part of the billions Naira expended for oil exploration in the North, is been spent judiciously for the development of agriculture, reclaiming our land encroached by desertification through massive three planting and production of posture and water points for both livestock and arable farming will develop to the extent that Northern Nigeria can feed the entire African States,” the KACRAN President asserted. He, however, debunked rumours that KACRAN is against federal government’s ongoing effort as regards to petroleum exploration in the northern part of Nigeria, saying the Association is in support to the full explorations of minerals and natural resources for the betterment of all Nigerians.