Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, signed into law the Prohibition of Open Cattle Grazing Bill, 2021.
Sanwo-Olu, signed, the law prohibiting open cattle grazing in Lagos, the trespass of cattle on land and for other connected purposes at the state House, Alausa, Lagos.
Earlier, on September 9, 2021, members of the Lagos State House of Assembly passed the bill for Governor Sanwo-Olu’s assent to law.
The bill was passed by the assembly after it went through its Public Hearing stage which received a resounding contributions and support from stakeholders.
The recommendations of the reports of the Committees on Agriculture and Finance respectively were unanimously adopted as the resolutions of the House, leading to its third reading.
Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, during the plenary session, described the ‘Prohibition of Open Cattle Grazing Bill’ as timely and one that would ensure harmonious relationships between herders and farmers and protect the environment of the state and the southwest zone.
Obasa, also suggested that the bill should make provision for the registration of herders and prepare them for ranching.
“Allocating parcel of land is not enough but there should be training of those who would go into ranching because ranching is expensive and required adequate preparation,” he said.
Recall that the Secretary, Zonal South West, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, Mai-Kudu Usman, had said that banning open cattle grazing may give rise to tension and cost of cows in Lagos State.
Usman, stated this while giving a submission at the one day public hearing on the bill for an law to prohibit open cattle grazing in Lagos.
According to him: “We can’t rear our cattle in one place, because what the cattle will eat and consume will be very very expensive if I can’t move them around.
“I can assure you that if we are made to graze on a secluded area, the cost of breeding a cow will be very high and the cost to sell one cow will be nothing less than N2 million.
“There is so much attachment between herders and herds to the extent that any inconveniences on the herds is considered as inconveniences on herders and by so doing this will be resisted vehemently. Passing Anti-Open cattle grazing into law can create tension in the state because of the inconveniences it would bring along with it.
“Also, because the Fulani herders are migrating to South West that’s why we are having damages to farmlands. And now the bad eggs among the Fulani herders have turned into bandits.
“Therefore, we are suggesting a deal whereby, when I’m bringing herds, I inform and notify the local government chairman or Baale of the community that i am coming with my cows so that they will know that I am there and be registered.
“But, we have discovered that some strangers called Fulani herders have infiltrated the ranks of Miyetti -Allah. We are taking steps already to weed them out of our group. Miyatti-Alla is a peaceful, and peace loving group.
“These Fulani herders come from nowhere and damage some people’s farm and that is why we are having problems.
“We are having a national conference of MACBAN to be held in Abuja, next year in January where all issues concerning the Fulani invasion into Miyetti-Allah will be addressed inorder to fish them out of our group.
“What we want the Lagos state government to do is to register any cattle that are coming into Lagos State. Let them be registered with chairman of local government or the local chiefs “Baale” of the local government this will make for easy identification incase of any infraction(s).
“We have met with stakeholders in Ekiti, Ondo and even Oyo States and we reached agreements with them.
“That’s why we are urging the state House of Assembly and the Lagos State Government to give us more time so that we can go back and sentisize our members on the bill for law and how to breed our cows henceforth without resorting to violence among residents.”
Also, the President of the Lagos State Sheep and Goat Farmers Association, Alhaji Mustapha Ibrahim, said that the bill was not meant to attack anybody, but that it is all-embracing.
Ibrahim, stressed that land resources was very important to Lagos State, and that the relationship between cattle rearers and farmers should be symbiotic.
He also advocated for a legislation to promote the creation of farm estates across the state.