Monday, 20 September, 2021

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Anti-open grazing law’ll be ready in Sept, Okowa says as bill passes second reading


The Chairman, South-South Governors’ Forum and Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, says the state is working to meet the September deadline for the ban of opening grazing.

Okowa, who stated this through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, said the state government had begun work to enact a law to prohibit open grazing in the state.

He noted that the Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Regulation Bill, 2021 was already before the state House of Assembly.

He said the bill had scaled first reading at the parliament and expressed optimism that it would be passed and made ready for his assent before the September deadline set by the Southern Governors’ Forum during the recent meeting of the members in Lagos.

The bill passed second reading on Wednesday (today).

The bill, Delta State Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Regulation, sponsored by member representing Ughelli South Constituency, Reuben Izeze, and 24 other lawmakers, was debated during plenary presided over by the Speaker, Sheriff Oborevwori.

Izeze opened the debate on the merit of the bill, saying it was long overdue due to the activities of killer herdsmen, adding that it would protect every community in the state.

He said that the bill, when passed and assented to, would help to regulate movement and other activities of livestock dealers in every part of the state.

Also speaking, Deputy Majority Leader, Kenneth Preyor; Deputy Chief Whip, Solomon Ighrakpata; member representing Warri South West Constituency, Emomotimi Guwor; and others, described the bill as “a welcome development.”

They said the bill would help to curb the menace of the ravaging herdsmen, adding that the bill has come to save the lives of Deltans.

The Speaker of the House subsequently referred the bill to the House Joint Committee on Special Bills, Agriculture and Natural Resources after it was unanimously supported by all members.

Speaking about the bill, Okowa stated, “It is true that the Southern Governors’ Forum had set September deadline for states to pass their anti-open grazing laws.

“For us in Delta, we would have had ours passed and ready long ago if not for the strike embarked upon by the parliamentary workers.

“However, the bill is already before the House and it has passed through first reading, while the second reading has been slated for Wednesday (today).

“I am very optimistic that the law will be ready in Delta State before the September deadline set by the Southern Governors’ Forum.

“I must commend the Speaker and members of the House for their commitment to ensuring that the bill gets the urgent attention it deserves.”

The bill passed its first reading on the floor of the Assembly on Tuesday, as well as second reading on Wednesday.

Credit: Punch

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