The Ebonyi Government has denied collecting N6 billion from the Federal Government for ranching, insisting that the state had no land for such venture.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that Mr Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, in a television interactive programme on Wednesday, cited Ebonyi as one of the states that collected such funds to implement ranching.
The disclosure drew widespread reactions from citizens and groups in the state with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) criticising the state government for not disclosing the collection of such funds.
Mr Francis Nwaze, Special Assistant to the state Governor on Media and Publicity, in a statement made available to NAN in Abakaliki, on Thursday, said that the state government did not receive any such funds.
“The government will not receive any money for ranching, because there is no land for such purpose in the state.
“Ebonyi citizens should see ranching as a personal decision and anyone engaging in such venture must use his or her land to implement it,” the statement read.
In the statement, Nwaze maintained that the state government would not renege on its decision not to offer land in the state for such purpose.