Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre has called on the federal government to ratify the African Union Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources of 1968 in order to stop the tide of killings by the Fulani Herdsmen in the country.
Addressing a press conference in commemoration of the 2016 African Union Day in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, the Chair of the State of the Union, (SOTU) Okeke Anya said the ratification of the convention would ensure a better environment that would naturally restrict the movement of the Herdsmen.
Anya lamented that while Nigeria led other African countries to review the convention in 2003, it has refused to ratify it while other African countries have taken the lead.
He explained that the country has continued to live up to its financial obligation to the Union adding that the need for better compliance with the policy standard and other instruments of the Union is ever imminent.
Anya however called on the Federal Government, being a beneficiary of the AU instrument of African Charter on Democracy, Election and Governance, to expedite action on the ratification process because of the impending benefits for the country.
The advocacy centre also bemoaned the inability of the present administration to meet up with the AU’s budgetary recommendation for both agriculture and health sectors especially with the recent dwindling fortune of oil revenues.
According to him, the Union recommended 10% budgetary allocation for the agricultural sector while 15% was recommended for the health sector but added that Nigeria has been floating below 5% on both sectors.
He also lamented the dwindling influence of Nigeria on the continent in recent times which he blamed on the lingering internal insecurity and recent sharp fall in the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
“A major component of the SOTU project in Nigeria focuses on the ratification, domestication and implementation of three AU instruments which are the Revised African Convention on Nature and Natural Resources, the African Health Strategy and the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP).
“While the country continues to do all it can in the meeting up with its financial commitment to the AU Commission/Secretariat, the same cannot be said with respect to basic compliance with provisions of the key AU instruments despite the overwhelming problems in the Environment, Health and Agricultural sectors,” the statement read in part.
The Advocacy however called on the incoming administration of the Union to build on the enormous goodwill and continental strength, to ensure a continent void of cumbersome travel requirements and documentations because of the negative intent for an enhanced and more integrated continent.