Grazing Reserves Act, Falana Reminds FG of History
Femi Falana (SAN), an human rights lawyer, has shed some light on the Grazing Reserves Act of 1964 which President Muhammadu Buhari is insistent on reviving, saying the piece of legislation was only applicable to northern Nigeria in the 1960s.
According to the statement issued on Sunday and titled, ‘President Buhari Should Embrace Ranching,’ Falana argued that the Grazing Reserves Act of 1964 was not a law of general application because the “Western Region, Mid-Western Region and the Eastern Region had ranches for animal husbandry.”
Falana, however, enjoined the President to encourage ranching in place of attempting to bring back grazing routes.
Falana pointed out that the Federal Government in 2016 announced that it had secured 55,000 hectares of land in 11 states for grazing of cattle.
“Shortly thereafter the federal government adopted cattle colony or Ruga Policy. But due to the opposition which greeted the concept of cattle colony in many quarters the federal government jettisoned the policy and adopted the Livestock Transformation Policy including ranching in 2018,” Falana recalled.
He noted that the Chairman of the sub-committee on farmer/herder crisis, Mr. Dave Umahi, who is also the Governor of Ebonyi State, disclosed that the federal government would bear 80 per cent of the sum of N100billion earmarked for ranching while participating states would support with N20billion and provision of lands for the programme.
In 2019, the Central Bank of Nigeria also announced plans to provide loans for ranching and milk production.
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