The measure before the Lagos State House of Assembly, which seeks to prohibit open grazing of cattle in the state, also stipulates a 21-year prison sentence for any herder found with weapons.
This was stated in the “Prohibition of Open Cattle Grazing Bill, 202,” which is currently before the House of Representatives.
The legislators unanimously criticized the continual movement of cattle by herders along certain main routes and on people’s farms in the state during a plenary on Monday, emphasizing that trespassing on people’s land will continue to be a threat to the state’s and country’s peaceful coexistence.
The legislators agreed that publicly grazing livestock has resulted in a food deficit since herders frequently move their cattle into people’s fields, ruining their crops and resulting in a food shortage. They further stated that constant skirmishes between herdsmen and farmers have resulted in the loss of lives and property worth millions of Naira, emphasizing that the only way to stop such wasteful and senseless destruction of lives and property was to prohibit open grazing of cattle.
Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker of the House, said the House was responding to the Southern Governors’ agreement to ban open grazing in all 17 southern states after various state legislators gave it legal backing, adding that there was a need to identify herders operating in the state by registering them so that the total number of herders could be determined.
Obasa also called for financial assistance for people interested in ranching, stating that pastoralists needed to be trained in order to be prepared for the new manner.
He then referred the bill to the House Committee on Agriculture and Cooperatives, instructing them to report on Thursday.