President Bola Tinubu, on Monday, said that given adequate provision of lands by state governments, his administration was ready to implement a comprehensive programme to end farmer-herders clashes nationwide.

Tinubu gave this assurance when he flagged off the Food Security and Agricultural Mechanisation Programme in Niger State, on Monday.

A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, revealed that Tinubu also pledged his commitment to ensuring food sufficiency and protecting local industries for sustainable economic growth.

The statement was titled ‘President Tinubu inaugurates agricultural machinery in Niger, says Nigeria must feed its people and have enough for export.’

“I know what it means for roaming cows to eat crops and the vegetation of our land. I know it is painful. But when we re-orient the herder and make provision for cattle rearing, we can address that,” the President said.

Tinubu’s comments come nearly two weeks after the Federal Government commenced the Pulaku Initiative, a large-scale resettlement programme, to address the root causes of gory clashes between farmers and herders in various flashpoints nationwide.

Pulaku, also called the “Fulani code of conduct,” is an integral cultural and ethical value system specific to the Fulanis.

The programme, the FG said, would initially focus on seven states disproportionately affected by farmer-herder conflicts.

They are “Sokoto, Kebbi, Benue, Katsina, Zamfara, Niger, and Kaduna State,” a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications to the Vice President, Stanley Nkwocha, said on February 13, 2024.

Speaking in Minna, the Niger State capital, Tinubu told governors, “You are the governors who are to provide us with land. I, as President, I am committed to providing a comprehensive programme that will solve this problem.”

Tinubu also urged sub-national governments to, as an immediate intervention measure, implement wage awards in their states to complement the efforts of the Federal Government’s efforts to ease the burden of citizens, pending when the minimum wage would be increased.

“I am equally here to partner with you to banish hunger. You are doing the job. And it is necessary for me to support you; it is mandatory as Nigerians.

“When you read newspapers, some of us are confused about whether to abuse the past or the present or to make excuses for the future. But that is not in my dictionary.

“I think action now, re-engineer the finances of our country and steer it on the right path,” the President said.

Doubling down on citizens’ welfare, Tinubu asked states to replicate the wage award initiative paid to federal workers.

He asserted, “We need to relieve our people of hunger. Let all the sub-nationals start paying wage awards, pending when the minimum wage is increased. I am not giving an order; I am only appealing. NEC should adopt this.”

The Food Security and Agricultural Mechanisation Programme is an initiative of the Niger State government.

It is meant to deploy cutting-edge agricultural machinery and technology for large-scale agro-value chain development in the state.

Speaking at the inauguration, President Tinubu said, “We have seen the level of commitment here. We have seen leadership. The success of any leader will depend on the ability to do what needs to be done when it ought to be done.

“It is now time for us to address the challenges and make Nigeria an economy of opportunities. We must care for our people; re-orient our people. I do not see why Nigeria cannot feed all students in its schools.”

Appreciating the President for honouring his invitation and inaugurating the facilities, Niger’s Governor Mohammed Bago said four states, Benue, Kogi, Kwara, and Lagos had already signed memoranda of understanding on building partnerships for the development of agriculture.

“Mr. President, your presence here today underscores the importance of this occasion for our state in particular and Nigeria as a whole, as we gather to celebrate a good example demonstrated in our modest contribution to infrastructure and agricultural development encapsulated in our New Niger Agenda.

“For us, agriculture is key to addressing the challenges in critical sectors of our economy, and we shall seize every opportunity for the attainment of growth and engender prosperity for the people of our beloved state and by extension our country, Nigeria,” Bago said.

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, revealed that the Federal Government had signed an agreement with the Brazilian government and German Deutsch Bank Group as financiers of a facility of €995m for the Green Imperative Programme which will provide mechanisation hubs across the 774 local government areas in Nigeria when implemented.

“A Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Government and the John Deer Group, a subsidiary of Tata Equipment, was signed.

“The manufacturer has signed to deliver 10,000 units of tractors and implement in tranches of 2,000 units per annum for the next five years.

“The Greener Hope Initiative is another veritable platform the Federal Government is deploying to ultimately change the deficit narrative in the Nigerian agricultural mechanization space,’’ Kyari added.

While in Niger State, President Tinubu also visited former Nigerian Heads of State, General Ibrahim Babangida and General Abdulsalami Abubakar with whom he had fruitful discussions concerning the advancement of the nation, Ngelale revealed.