Ibukun Awosika, Chairman of the Board of Directors of First Bank of Nigeria, says President Muhammadu Buhari and state governors have no business in setting up cattle ranches for herdsmen.
Ms Awosika made this assertion amid the ongoing conversation around the country’s dissolution, stating that it is not an option because the country “is many decades too late to disintegrate.”
The businesswoman, motivational speaker, and author made her position known on Thursday in Kaduna at a town hall meeting on national security.
Ms Awosika concurred with Prof. Jubrin Ibrahim, the lead presenter at the event, that farmers-herdsmen violent clashes were largely fuelled by economic activities engendered by space.
Therefore, she suggested that the private sector actively engage in the livestock and meat production business.
She urged the government to remove barriers that had resulted from the traditional limitation of the sector.
“We must address some structural, systemic situation in terms of engagements that will allow private sector involved in that space and introduce modern ways of approach.
“Government has no business in setting up cattle ranches, but it can create an inspired atmosphere that will encourage independent private sector to participate in the space to be sustainable,” the First Bank chairman explained.
The town hall meeting with the theme, ‘Setting Benchmarks for Enhanced Security and National Unity in Nigeria,’ was organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture.
The event was attended by Governor Nasir El-Rufai and his Deputy, Hadiza Balarabe, while the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, led six other ministers to the meeting.
Ms Awosika, one of the discussants at the event, said those who fought for Nigeria’s independence did not come from the same tribe.
“One of the blessings is that the combination that created Nigeria presented us the opportunity in terms of talents, diversity, natural and human resources that were brought to the table.
“When you look at what Nigeria state represents in terms of the size of market and population, the country is richly blessed,” she said.
She noted further, “Everyone wants to be able to meet their obligation, educate their children and have an opportunity for health facility when they need it and have a peaceful coexistence with their people.”
Awosika blamed political leaders for not doing enough and for playing politics with the issue of disintegration.
She noted that in creating a division for political power, if the politicians succeeded in destroying the country, there would be nothing left to govern.
“I challenge the political class to review the approach of gaining power to understand that we cannot attain leadership at all cost,” she stated.
Ms Awosika also underscored the need to invest in education to grow democracy and the need for Nigerians to challenge the political class and make them accountable.