Ruga: FG Awards Contract For Fulani Settlements In 12 States Despite Outrage - Biafland
•We won’t cede an inch of land —Taraba Govt
A constitutional crisis is looming over insistence of the Federal Government to create Fulani settlements across the 36 states of the federation despite objections by many state governments.
In the first phase of the project, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has awarded contract for the construction of Ruga infrastructure complete with sanitary facilities in 12 states meant to serve as pilot for the project.
Some of the 12 states included Taraba, Benue, Adamawa, Plateau, Zamfara, Kano, Kaduna and others.
Sunday Tribune got a copy of the contract award letter for the building of Ruga settlements in eight locations in Taraba State.
It has reference number FMA/PROC/RD/SIP/5499/1 dated 21st May, 2019 addressed to The Managing Director, MAS Prudent Limited, Suit D16, Danziyal Plaza, Central Business District, Abuja.
It was titled “Award of contract for the construction of Ruga Infrastructure with Sanitary Facilities (Red Bricks Structure) In Taraba State (Eight Locations.”
The letter reads in part “I am directed to inform you that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its meeting held on 8th May 2019 approved the award of contract for the construction of eigh numbers Ruga infrastructure with sanitary facilities (red brick structures) each in Taraba State as detailed in the Attached to your company at the total sum of one hundred and susty six million three hundred and thirty six thousand, three hundred and eighty naira only inclusive of VAT with a completion period of four weeks with effect from the date of this letter.
“You are therefore, to indicate in writing within one week your acceptance of this offer to the Ofice of the Director of Procurement, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Abuja or otherwise the offer will be considered lapsed thereafter, you are to liaise with the Director (Rural Development) for detailed specification/scope of work as well as adequate supervision…”
However, The Taraba State Government has insisted that it will not cede any part of its territory for the construction of the settlements.
Speaking with Sunday Tribune on Saturday evening, Special Adviser to the State Governor on Media, Mr. Bala Dan Abu said “we are vehemently against it”
“We have said it before that we do not have land to donate in Taraba State for that purpose.
“We have a policy and a law that was enacted in 2017 restricting open grazing and approving modern form of ranching.
“We are not going to cede an inch of our land for the purpose of building any Ruga in Taraba State”, he declared.
Also during the week, Benue State House of Assembly took a final decision on the proposed construction of Ruga in three local governments and directed caretaker chairmen in the councils to remove any signposts erected in that regard within their territories.
Though some of the states on the pilot scheme list like Benue have raised objection to the plan, it was learnt that the whole idea was indeed the brain child of some entrenched interests in the government who wanted to cash in on the plan of the government for both financial and primordial reasons.
“The original plan that was approved by the National Economic Council (NEC) was the establishment of ranches to be anchored directly by the states,” a source in the Presidency told Sunday Tribune.
“Some of the states willingly volunteered to participate in the scheme because of the benefits to them. But this Ruga idea that has been rejected by Nigerians is really baffling. I can tell you Ruga is not what was approved by NEC.
“The Federal Government does not own any land, so it cannot claim any such land anywhere. It is the state governments that keep the land in trust for the people.
“It is the state governments that can give out land. What I can also tell you is that some people might have decided to make some money for themselves by going the Ruga way,” explained the source further.
Source ~ https://tribuneonlineng.com/222520/