The establishment of RUGA settlements has continued to generate controversies despite the suspension of the scheme by President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government as Darius Ishaku, Governor of Taraba State, said he was denied a loan for ranching by the Godwin Emefiele-led Central Bank of Nigeria.
Speaking with journalists at the government house in Jalingo, on Tuesday, Ishaku revealed that he approached the federal government for a loan on ranching but it was rejected.
“RUGA is colonialism. It is not about cattle. It is not even about grasses. It should not only be suspended, but it should also be cancelled completely,” he said.
“The whole RUGA scheme should be cancelled. You can’t do a RUGA in the entire country. I don’t accept it. It is not workable, and it will not work in Taraba state.
“I submitted a request to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for us (Taraba) to be given a loan to do ranching but the CBN has refused to approve it, for reasons I don’t know.
Ishaku stated that there was an Anti-Open Grazing Law in Taraba state that prohibits open-grazing but encourages ranching, adding that the state would openly embrace and be a model for other states if the federal government is truly interested in ranching.
“Otherwise, I would have showcased what ranching is in Taraba state. It is the best form of practice in modern days if indeed you are talking about cattle, grasses and grazing.
“But I don’t think they (federal government) are talking about cattle; I don’t agree that they are talking about grasses. They are talking of something else: colonization,” he said.