- The open grazing and VAT bills may soon be passed by the Lagos state House of Assembly according to a report
- The members of the state Assembly on Monday, September 6, passed through a second reading after thorough deliberation
- According to the lawmakers, the open grazing bill would ensure harmonious relationships between herders and farmers
Alausa, Lagos - The Lagos state House of Assembly on Monday, September 6, committed the bill on open grazing to the committee on agriculture after it scaled second reading.
Legit.ng reports that the House also read for the first and second time the state's Value Added Tax bill and asked the committee on finance which is handling it to report back on Thursday, September 9.
Eromosele Ebhomele, the chief press secretary, to the speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, in a statement made available to Legit.ng, said the speaker 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.
The speaker also suggested that the bill should make provision for the registration of herders and prepare them for ranching, saying that allocating parcels of land is not enough but there should be training of those who would go into ranching.
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Speaking on the bill on VAT, Obasa said it would lead to an "increase in revenue and increase in infrastructural development, saying this is in line with fiscal federalism that we have been talking about.
Obasa said the VAT law when passed, would help the state meet challenges in its various sectors, urging the Lagos state government to do everything legally possible to ensure the judgement of a Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, is sustained even up to the Supreme Court.
Speaking earlier on the bill on open grazing, Bisi Yusuff (Alimosho 1), lamented the havoc that herdsmen had caused in the southwestern zone.
He said farmers have continuously become afraid to visit their farms thus causing a shortage of food, stating that many farmers had become indebted as they now find it difficult to pay back loans they secured.
His position was supported by Kehinde Joseph (Alimosho 2) who said open grazing in the 21st century is an aberration.
Joseph said the bill would ensure peaceful coexistence, reduce crime and help to guide the activities of herders.
On his part, Olumoh Saad Lukeman (Ajeromi-Ifelodun 1), suggested that the high court should be made to handle cases from the enforcement of the bill when passed or that the state should establish special courts for such purpose.
Gbolahan Yishawu, in his contribution, described Lagos as a cosmopolitan state and, as such, having to see cattle in the streets is worrisome.
He expressed support for the bill because, according to him, it would give a level of security to the state and help reduce economic losses. He added that Lagos has 250 hectares of land in Ikorodu and another 750 hectares on Epe for ranching.
Tobun Abiodun (Epe 1) said it was common to see cattle going to school as if they want to learn while Hon. David Setonji (Badagry 2), recalled "a time we went on oversight function in a school here in Lagos. We were embarrassed by cattle. We had to wait for the herder to move the cattle before we embarked on our oversight function."
Afenifere rejects President Buhari’s cattle plan over anti-open grazing law
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere reached out to the southwest governors, asking them to activate the anti-open grazing law in their states.
It was reported that the apex group also called on the government to allow states to have their own police.
The group, through its national publicity secretary, Jare Ajayi, Afenifere, disclosed that its members held a meeting at the Ijebu-Ode home of its leader, Ayo Adebanjo.