FULANI HERDSMEN: Nigerian Senate Turn Down Proposed Controversial Grazing Bill
THE controversial bill for an Act to provide for establishment of grazing areas management agency and other related matters, yesterday on the floor of the Senate, suffered a major set back as it was stood down for discussion and further deliberation.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, APC, Kano Central, titled A Bill for an Act to provide for the Establishment of grazing Areas Management Agency and for other related Matters, 2016, failed to scale second reading as it was rejected. It further seeks to create a mechanism for prevention of crises on getting early warning signals by setting a standing mediation committee in all participating states and local government areas, to be saddled with the responsibility of mediating between the parties and for other related matters. Also yesterday, the Senate stood down a bill for an Act to provide for the Establishment of National Ranches Commission for the regulation, management, preservation and control of ranches and for connected purposes, sponsored by Senator Barnabas Gemade, APC, Benue North East. Another bill for an Act to control the keeping and movement of cattle in Nigeria and for related matters, sponsored by Senator Chukwuka Utazi, PDP, Enugu North, was also stood down by the Senate. It would be recalled that the three bills were slated for discussion last Tuesday but were also stepped down. The Senate rejected the three bills yesterday because the contents were not uniform, just as the National Assembly does not have the powers to legislate on livestock matters, since it is neither in the exclusive nor concurrent lists but the residual list which only states have control. However, when Kwankwaso presented the bill for second reading, and having discovered that it was different from that of Gemade and Utazi, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, then asked the Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, to step it down. Saraki said: “Before the point of order of deputy Senate president, I had already made a suggestion that these bills caught on the order paper, based on the discussion I had with the two sponsors, be consolidated.”