Grazing Reserve Bill: Stop creating problems to solve problems

The Grazing Reserve Bill: Stop creating problems to solve problems

By Kelechi Deca
I personally think that the Bill is a waste of legislative time and resources. However, it is understandable given the high rate of truancy in the NASS and how all they’ve been doing since their inauguration is escorting one “looter” or another to court or tribunal, when they are not showing off their cars.
The challenges being faced by the herdsmen is a business challenge. Every sector of the Nigerian economy is facing one challenge or another and they are not sponsoring any bill to that effect, rather they sit down and seek for solutions.
The Fulani herdsmen are in business. The Farmers whose crops are trampled and destroyed are in business. If the herdsmen need some grazing land, let them go and talk to the farmers, reach an agreement (if the farmers agree), and have legally binding agreements with clearly spelt out dos and don’ts. It is not for the Federal Government to create another behemoth in the name of commission with staff, etc at a time of financial crunch.
When Idumota became too uncomfortable for traders dealing in new motor spare parts, resulting in daily clashes with area boys and landlords, they did not go to the NASS to sponsor a bill.
They sat down with government officials and Lagos State to get a lease of the Trade Fair Complex and they moved there, establishing a new community of business people.
Same goes to the frequent clashes at Ladipo. It does not require NASS intervention or Bill. The market leaders should sit down with government officials and landlords to sort things out.
You can’t sacrifice one’s means of livelihood to appease another.
The herdsmen should all be properly registered so that we know who is who, and they should also be paying taxes to the states they feed their cattle from. That is what the tax law says. Their contributions to national economy should not only be that they provide us with meat. We buy the meat.
This is a private sector matter and should be left at that. The only responsibility the government has is to maintain law and order. If someone is carrying unlicensed firearm and going about in the bush, arrest him. If another disturbs public peace, arrest him. Treat cases of abduction, trespassing and any other similar cases in line with the laws of the land.
Stop creating problems to solve problems.
•Mr. Deca is a Lagos-based Media Practitioner