The Lagos State lawmakers have explained some provisions of the anti-open grazing bill to stakeholders at the public hearing held on the proposed bill.

The Speaker of the House, Dr Mudashiru Obasa, who was represented by the Deputy Speaker, Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, in his address, stated that the bill would address the tension generated by the activities of herders.

He said, “The bill in entirety is well drafted and targeted at dousing the tension emanating from the activities of herders, thereby stimulating and introducing a world class practical that will ensure competitive productivity in the sector and initiate regulations that will attract more investment.”

The Deputy Majority Leader, Noheem Adams, gave a general overview of the proposed bill noting detailed intendment.

He said, “The proposed bill with 21 sections has a detailed intendment proposing 21 years jail term for herders in possession of firearms; approval for enclosed grazing; establishment and control of cattle pounds; establishment of taskforce on cattle trespass; impounding of cattle; receipts to be issued by owners and penalty for forcibly opposing the seizure of cattle.

“Other sections of the bill lists regulations; reductions of fines and costs; procedure when owner claims the cattle and pays fines and costs as well as procedure when owner refuses or omits to pay the fines and costs among others,” he added.

The Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture, Kehinde Joseph, said, “The bill also makes provision for the registration of herders and prepares them for ranching, condemn cattle roaming to prevent accidents and advocate stiffer penalties for herders carrying firearms.”

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The Secretary, Zonal Southwest Cattle Breeders Association, Alhaji Usman, said, “I implore the House to emphasise on giving the association time to train herders on enclosed grazing as well as financial support for herders to engage in cattle pound. The chairmen and high chiefs (Baales) of each local government should have harmonious relationships with the breeders and ensure that breeders register their herds.”

A copy of the bill was obtained by newsmen and some of its vital sections include the provision N50,000 fine per head of cattle for grazing on another person’s land; impounded cattle must be claimed with seven days or owner risks permanent forfeiture; grazing in an enclosed land must be approved by ministry of agriculture; 21 years imprisonment for firearm possession; establishment of task force on cattle trespass; and opposing seizure of cattle attracts N250,000 fine or six months imprisonment.

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