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Anti-Open Grazing Bill Scales Second Reading In Akwa Ibom Assembly

The Akwa Ibom House of Assembly has passed for second reading a bill seeking to ban open grazing of livestock in the state.

The bill, sponsored by Udo Kieran, member representing Oruk Anam State Constituency, was considered by the House and passed for second reading on Thursday during plenary.

Leading the debate on the bill, Mr Kieran said the bill seeks to “prevent the destruction of farms, crops, ponds, settlements and properties caused by open rearing and grazing of livestock and protect the environment from degradation and pollution”.

The bill, which appeared to enjoy unanimous support from lawmakers, was referred to the joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Lands, Housing and Urban Renewal.

The committee is expected to report back to the House within two weeks.

When passed into law and assented to by Governor Udom Emmanuel, Akwa Ibom will join the list of states in Nigeria that have enacted law to ban open grazing.

Rivers, Bayelsa, Oyo, Ekiti and Abia states have enacted similar laws.

Lagos State anti-open grazing bill which has just been passed into law is awaiting the assent of the governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Similar bills are at various levels in Enugu and Delta States.

Southern states in Nigeria had reached a resolution on July 5, 2021, in Lagos to enact a law prohibiting open grazing.

The governors, at the meeting, urged member states to enact legislation against open grazing of cattle in their states on or before September 1.

Only five states were able to have the anti-open grazing law in place before the deadline.

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