The National Secretary of MACBAN, Othman Ngelzarma, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.
He noted that such ministry had been established in other West African countries, adding that it will help address the enormous challenges facing the sub-sector.
According to him, a mere department under the Ministry of Agriculture will not be able to address the challenges and allow Nigeria benefit fully from the endowments of the livestock sector.
He listed some of the challenges in livestock development to include; cattle rustling, farmer-herder conflicts, kidnapping, banditry and neglect, especially with regard to demarcation of grazing reserves.
“We are calling on the Federal Government to create a ministry that will squarely address all issues relating to the livestock sub-sector of the economy.
“This is because the magnitude of the problem or crisis faced by the livestock sector is more than the one that can be handled by a mere department under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
“Some of the enormous problems are farmer-herder conflicts, cattle rustling, neglect on the part of the government regarding grazing reserve, banditry, kidnapping, shrinking of Lake Chad that is housing millions of pastoralists and so many other natural and man-made factors.
“We want an agency or ministry that can squarely handle this issue and resolve it permanently being the practice in most West African countries; they all have Federal Ministry of Livestock because of the essence they attach to livestock production.
“It is essential for the government to consider the creation of the Ministry of Livestock independent from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
“Let’s have a livestock ministry so that this entire problem can be addressed by an organisation solely charged with such responsibility,” Mr Ngelzarma stressed.
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