Tekedia Forum

Nomadic Microfinance Bank Nigeria Ltd

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As I wrote this morning, there are many things government can do to solve the herdsmen crises in the nation. I offered three options; one is lease partnership

Lease Partnership: The federal government at the interim can map out a huge sum of money for a temporary fix. It can use that money to lease lands in some southern states from state governments mainly in areas farmers are not using. The goal here is to lease the land, compensate (and keep paying) the original owners of the lands and then work with the herdsmen to graze there. To do that, government would devise a structure in this enclave where all sold cows would be taxed and a part of the profits going to pay for the lease. Yes, the herdsmen would pay for the lease through the government. Government can use this model to manage the crises over the next fifteen years while it finds a permanent solution to handle the deforestation issue in the north. Once that is done, it can relocate the herdsmen back to their ancestral lands. This lease arrangement should be structured to be renewal every five years.

Here are some elements for executing that option:

• Through the Central Bank of Nigeria, the federal government can setup Nomadic Microfinance Banks through which it can manage the administration of the lease partnership/ranches. Also, all purchase of cows would go through the banks.

• The microfinance banks would handle the leasing issues, making sure herdsmen get their profits even as they collect taxes and lease fees. Each major ranch would have a microfinance bank that serves it.

• Finally, government would then criminalize buying cow from open grazing. That way the market would close, pushing herdsmen to join a government-anchored ranch, open a private ranch or exit the business.

Yet, as I noted earlier, this is a very complicated thing because Nigeria is losing arable lands to desertification and herdsmen are looking for means to survive. A policy roadmap could have managed these changes about ten years ago. But we never plan for anything. Yet, this can be fixed urgently. It goes beyond more laws and more policemen; government has to address the root cause. And must do all necessary to protect farmers and communities by disarming herdsmen.

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If the issue is purely economic/business, then it's easily addressable. But we know that it's much more than that, the 'entitlement' and 'dominance' mentalities are very key. Just listen to some of guys on TV, then you will understand that it goes beyond 'grazing land'. Many fraudulent things happen in this country, and we are very 'skilled' at downplaying or misrepresenting them. We have lost it: politically, socially, morally and otherwise. Ofcourse there was a country, and it hasn't been rediscovered till now.