The Lagos State House of Assembly is currently conducting open hearing on the Anti Open Grazing Bill being legislated by the state lawmakers. Stakeholders are invited to make contributions to the bill before the final passage by the House.
One of the provisions of the bill before the Lagos State House of Assembly, undergoing a public hearing, is the prescription of 21 years imprisonment of anyone in possession of firearms while herding cattle in the state.
The Deputy Speaker of the State Assembly, Eshilokun Sanni, at the public hearing at the Assembly Complex, Alausa, Ikeja, noted that the bill, when passed into law, aims to prevent clashes with herders and straying of cattle into farmland across the state.
The deputy speaker added that another provision in the proposed law is that any person that owns or is in control of cattle and allows such cattle to graze on any land that does not belong to the owner of cattle, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to pay N50,000 for each cow.
Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria in Lagos State, had pleaded for more time, explaining that ranching will be too capital intensive for its members.
When the bill is passed and assented by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the state government will set up a task force to enforce the law. It was indicated that all cattle seized will be auctioned within seven days if the owners fail to appear and pay fines and cost incurred for transporting and maintaining the cattle.