Why Nigerian Senate rejected Buhari’s grazing bill

The Presidency backs a controversial bill seeking to establish Grazing Management Agency.

The agency will ensure the creation of grazing areas across the country and on any portion of land deemed fit.

The Senate threw out the grazing bill and other related ones yesterday!

The grazing bill was sponsored by Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso.

The two other similar bills were sponsored by Senators Barnabas Gemade and Chukwuka Utazi.

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Gemade’s bill sought to establish National Ranches Commission for Regulation, Preservation and Control of Ranches.

Utazi’s bill sought to control keeping and movement of cattle in Nigeria.

The foundation for the withdrawal of the bills was laid by the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu.

Ekweremadu said the Senate lacked the power to legislate on grazing matters which the bills set out to pursue.

According to him, only states have powers to legislate on grazing matters and livestock animals.

Ekweremadu said: “The issues at stake here are neither in the exclusive list nor in the concurrent list.

“I believe therefore that it is a residual matter. It is for states to decide how to deal with it.

“I believe the matter here concerns everybody, given the level of carnage and the conflicts going on in different states.

“Unfortunately we do not have powers to legislate on matters relating to livestock in this Assembly.”

Senator Ali Ndume threw his weight behind Ekweremadu and urged his colleagues to withdraw the bill.

Responding, Saraki said since the contents of the bills were antithetical to his initial thoughts that they were uniform.

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“I had already put a suggestion with the sponsors that these bills should be consolidated.

“It is clear from the discussion today that it is not so.

“The way forward is for us to step them down from the order paper of today,” Saraki said.

After the arguments, Senator Ndume moved the motion to withdraw the bills. They were immediately thrown out.