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JUST IN: Senate passes bill against open grazing

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The Nigerian Senate has passed a bill to establish the National Animal Husbandry and Ranches Commission after a heated debate on Wednesday.

The legislation entitled, “A Bill for an act to Establish National Animal Husbandary and Ranches Commission for the Regulation, Management, Preservation and Control of Ranches throughout Nigeria; and for connected purpose, 2024”, was sponsored by Titus Zam, the Senator representing Benue North-west.

Explaining the general principles of the bill, Zam canvassed the need for the proposed Commission to manage, regulate, and preserve ranches across the country.

He said: “The proposed National Animal Husbandry and Ranches Commission is for management, preservation, and control of ranches throughout Nigeria.”

The bill, however, met stiff opposition from Senator Danjuma Goje from Gombe and his counterpart from Kebbi, Adamu Aliero.

Both Lawmakers and former governors argued that cattle rearing and ranching activities were more in the North than in other parts of the country, reasoning that lawmaking should be for the entire country and not for a section.

Goje specifically maintained that cattle routes begin from the far north and end in Lokoja as “the route does not extend to the South”.

In his contribution, Senator Hussein Babangida Uba, representing Jigawa North-West, called for extra caution in passing the bill, given its trail of controversies in the past.

Other Senators who supported the bill contended that the proposed Commission would manage the farmers/herders crisis, hence, it should be passed.

The bill was passed after it was put to voice vote by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio.

It was referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Judiciary and Legal Matters to be reverted in four weeks.

 

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