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BREAKING: Buhari approves 368 grazing reserves in 25 states as Wike signs anti-open grazing bills into law

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved recommendations of the committee which reviewed 368 grazing sites in Nigeria.

The reserves cut across 25 states and the review will determine the levels of encroachment.

The directive followed his approval of the report of the team chaired by Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari.

The committee proposed the collection of field data collection on the 368 reserves to assess encroachers as well as stakeholder engagements and sensitization.

The Committee also recommended production of maps and geo-mapping/tagging of sites, analysis of findings, report preparations and design of appropriate communication of grazing.

The number of the reserves and states were deduced from considerations of existing security concerns and other pre-existing socio-economic conditions.

Governor of Kebbi and Vice Chairman, National Food Security Council, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu Governor of Ebonyi and Chairman of NEC Sub-Committee for National Livestock Transformation Plan, David Umahi, are members.

Others are Ministers of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Agriculture, Sabo Nanono; Environment, Mohammad Abubakar, and Deputy Chief of Staff, Ade Ipaye.

The Technical Sub-Committee consists of representatives from the seven members of the main committee in addition to representatives from Ministry of Justice, Surveyor General of the Federation, National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) and National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA).

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Thursday, signed five bills recently passed by the State House of Assembly into law.

The bill include, the Valued Added Tax Law No. 4 of 2021; The Open Rearing and Grazing Prohibition Law No 5 of 2021; The Child’s Rights Amendment Law No 2 of 2021; The Residents Registration Agency Law No 6 of 2021 and the Naming and Renaming of Infrastructure Law No3 of 2021.

On the VAT collection law, the Governor, who signed the bills at the state government House in Port Harcourt insisted that the judgement of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt had addressed the “illegality” carried out by the Federal Inland Revenue Services on behalf of the Federal Government in the collection of VAT in States.

In a statement issued by his special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, Governor Wike said “we (Rivers State) are standing on the part of history as representatives of the state to have taken the bull by the horn to challenge the illegality of the of the Federal Government through the Federal inland Revenue Services (FIRS).”

According to the statement the Governor who also spoke on the Open Rearing and Grazing Prohibition law, No.5 of 2021 said no state which intends to develop will allow open grazing of cattle.

In his words “It is no longer a story. All of us know what our people have suffered in terms of this open grazing. Today all Nigerians have come to accept the reality that open grazing is no longer fashionable. Even our brothers in the north have agreed that it is no longer fashionable.”

The Governor also noted that with the signing of the Child’s Rights Amendment Law No 2 of 2021, family courts can become operational in the State.

Speaking on the Residents Registration Agency Law No 6 of 2021, governor Wike explained that every resident in the State “will be registered so that the State Government can know their status, what they do and where they reside for purposes of security planning”.