The raging debate on the propriety of the Federal Government’s RUGA scheme is generating a lot of unnecessary controversy.

The pitiable thing is that the noise is coming from un-informed quarters . The hyping of the issue has only succeeded in heating up the polity and dividing it along regional lines.

The truth is that government actions are counted in terms of social , political and economic cost . The problem did not start today . It has been with us for a very long time but it has assumed disastrous proportion lately as a result of climate change and global warming.

The lake Chad , which was a source of water and water security for people living close by has shrunk to ten percent of her former size and it is under serious threat of drying up completely.

The net effect of the highlighted is drought , waste lands and the migration of pastorialist in search of food and water for the sustenance of the livestock. In fact , we are yet to fully appreciate the effect of climate change because as it is playing out, it is a natural disaster with negative effects on food security.

Both the farmers and the herdsmen have the legitimate right to pursue their businesses so long as one does not infringe on the right of the other.

Unfortunately ,however , both parties are competing for the alternative use of land ; one grows his crops , the other grazes his cattle on it.

Consequently , the battle is for economic survival of both groups.

Already ,the social ,political and economic cost of the clashes are enormous. Most people are scared to travel the roads , the hospitality industry is feeling the pinch indirectly through low patronage.

In addition ,the government spends heavily on the maintenance of the internally displaced persons camp.

These types of dislocation have serious economic effect on a fragile economy .

Therefore, no reasonable government will idly sit and watch the conflagration without acting or finding a permanent solution to the problem.

Protagonist of the government RUGA policy have contended that it is the duty of private sector to promote and invest in ranches. Such an argument is completely misleading because the private sector is profit driven and are not suitable for matters of social welfare . At any rate , the government has the moral duty to intervene in areas the private sector are reluctant to undertake.

Desertification is fast turning productive lands into waste lands as a result of global warming. This is not an issue the government can solve on its own and it is not easily reversible.

The RUGA scheme is a step in the right direction although like any innovation, government may need to correct it’s negative effect.

The location of the herds men in proximity allows for economics of scale as other allied service they require would be located in the area.

Written By Barrister Akinyinka Kalejaiye