By Henry Umoru & Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—THE controversial bill for the establishment of a National Grazing Reserves Agency for Fulani herdsmen, yesterday, reappeared before the Senate and scaled the first reading.
The Bill seeks to establish Grazing Areas Management Agency to manage demarcated National, State and Local grazing areas, routes and livestock ranching reserves in states that require it. This is expected to facilitate peaceful co-existence between nomadic pastoralists and agriculturalists, thereby enhancing farmer’s capacity to have increased food production and safe rearing of animals.
The bill further seeks to create a mechanism for prevention of crises on getting early warning signals, by setting a standing mediation committee in states and local government areas where the grazing areas, routes and ranches are located and saddled with the responsibility of mediation between the parties.
According to the proposed bill, which was obtained by Vanguard, the Vice President of the country shall be the chairman of the board; even as deputy governors of the 36 states; Minister of the Federal Capital Territory; Agriculture Minister; among others, are members of the Governing Board, while there will be a director-general of the agency, who shall serve as the Secretary.
The National Grazing Reserves Agency Bill was sponsored by Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, All Progressives Congress, APC, Kano Central and co-sponsored by others.
In the proposed bill, no Nigerian shall alienate, mortgage, sell or transfer any right affecting the land allocated for grazing areas, reserves and stock routes without the consent of the Governing Council of the proposed agency.
According to the bill, a person shall not enter into any grazing area exclusively reserved by the agency.