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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has signed the bill prohibiting open cattle grazing in the state into law.
Sanwo-Olu, who assented to the bill during the State’s Executive Council meeting in Alausa on Monday, directed the security agencies to swing immediately into action and enforce provisions of the law.
He said that by implication, it is now criminal in Lagos for cattle rearers to occupy unapproved public areas and private land with their livestock for grazing.
The law also prohibits the act of moving cattle around public places by herders.
The signing of the anti-open grazing law by the Governor followed the decision of the Southern Governors’ Forum last August, setting the September deadline to pass the law across Member States.
There have been crises witnessed in some States, resulting from alleged open grazing.
Although farmer-herder crisis is not pronounced in Lagos, the anti-open grazing law is expected to prevent the spillover of the menace into the State.
He said, “By the powers vested in me as the Governor of Lagos State, I am signing the bill on Open Cattle Grazing and Trespass of Cattle on Land into law to prohibit issues associated with open grazing of livestock.”
Platform Times had reported that the Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday, September 9, 2021, passed the bill entitled, “A bill for a law to Prohibit Open Cattle Grazing In Lagos State, the Trespass of Cattle Land And For Other Connected Purposes”.
Speaker Mudashiru Obasa subsequently directed the Acting Clerk of the House, Mr. Olalekan Onafeko, to transmit a clean copy to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for assent.
The bill was passed after unanimous votes by the lawmakers at the sitting where the bill was read the third time.
Earlier, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association said that a cow could cost up to N2 million in Lagos State if the anti-grazing bill is passed into law in the state.
Zonal Secretary of Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in the South West, during a one-day public hearing organised by the state House of Assembly on the anti-open grazing bill.
During the public hearing, Usman appealed to the state government for assistance, noting that ranching is more expensive than open grazing.
Usman, who agreed that there were some criminally-minded herders, argued that raising a cow in one location could increase the price of a cow to as much as N2 million.
He also pleaded with the government to subsidise the cost of raising the cattle in one location.
“If cattle are bred in one place, the price could go up to about N2 million each. We agreed with some local chiefs in other states that anyone who wants to rear cows in a location should register and should indicate when he is leaving.
“A Fulani man moves from one place to another to ply his trade, but we have some bad eggs that are causing trouble. The government should allow us to talk to our people that they don’t want our cows to destroy people’s farmland.
“We have met with stakeholders in Ekiti, Ondo and even Oyo states and we reached agreements with them,” Usman was quoted as saying this in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the House, Mr Eromosele Ebhomele.