The federal government on Wednesday explained the rationale behind the proposed ministry of livestock development, saying that it is needed to enhance protein production, increase employment opportunities and government revenue.

President Bola Tinubu had on Tuesday announced the establishment of the ministry from the current ministry of agriculture.

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, provided clarity against the backdrop of accusations of expanding government at a time of scarce resources.

Responding to a question on the matter, he told correspondents after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja that the livestock ministry will focus on livestock development, allowing the ministry of agriculture to concentrate on other areas.

According to him, the important thawing is what Nigerians and the government stand to gain in terms of revenue and other positive additions.

Fagbemi explained: “President formerly informed council that a ministry known as ministry of livestock development is being established and this is because he believes that the ministry of agriculture should be broken into two, one concentrating on livestock development because of what we stand to achieve in terms of protein, in terms of employment, in terms earnings for the government and how this one will rub off on the lives of an ordinary Nigerian citizen.”

Noting that creating a new ministry may seem counteriproductive to the government’s goal of reducing governance costs, Fagbemi emphasized that the benefits of this decision would outweigh the costs.

He noted that the new ministry will facilitate large-scale livestock production, generating revenue and employment opportunities for Nigerians.

The Attorney General stressed the importance of improving protein intake, a key aspect of the government’s policy on livestock development, saying: “So. in respect of the Ministry of Livestock Development, in relation to the government policy of reducing governance, to every general rule, there must be an exception, what will dictate the decision of government, what is guiding the addition of government or action or reaction of government is the overall interest of Nigerian citizen.

“So. in respect of this livestock, the President has taken very serious look at the contribution of agriculture. Agriculture, now divided into two, haven announced that there is going to be another ministry, it goes without saying that those implications will also go with it.

“I agree that that may cost money, but it will be done in a way that the benefits will by far outweigh the losses or the concern that you may express.

“I have talked about this livestock and I said one, apart from improving the protein intake of our people, it also provides money for government because he’s going to be on large scale that will ensure money or revenue for government, and there is also going to be increased employment opportunities for people. So these are some of the areas that I think I should clear.”

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