HomeFeaturesEnugu Assembly Passes Public Ranch Management Agency Bill

Enugu Assembly Passes Public Ranch Management Agency Bill

Reports reaching the desk of The Eastern Updates has it that the Enugu State House of Assembly has passed the Public Ranch Management Agency bill.

The bill, which was passed on Tuesday in Enugu by the lawmakers, authorised the state government to establish an agency to manage both government and privately owned ranches in the state.

Speaking before the passage of the bill, the member representing Igbo-Eze North Constituency II, Clifford Obe, argued that the legislation would end the farmers/herders crisis in the state.

Obe said the farmer/herder crisis was responsible for the low agricultural output in the market.

According to him, many farmers have been driven out of their farms, which has increased crime and rural-to-urban migration.

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The bill will help people not be afraid. It will make it a must for herders to register whenever they enter any community. It will reduce crime and how cattle mess up our city and rural communities because there would be an agency on ground to guide the herders.

“Above all, the state government will be able to collect tax from the herders, who before now did not pay tax,” Obe added.

Also contributing, Okechukwu Aneke, representing Udi South Constituency, noted that there was no need for people to be afraid of the bill, adding that herders were not only Fulanis.

Aneke stressed that herders had come to stay, urging the people to learn to co-exist with them.

The lawmaker reiterated that the bill was intended to control the herders, adding that those invading and attacking communities in the state were not real herders.

“This agency, when established, will have designated areas where the cattle and their herders will be stationed.

“Any herder who is found in our bushes and not in the designated places should be treated as an intruder and a kidnapper,” Aneke said.

Another lawmaker, Mr Chima Obieze, regretted that people condemning the bill are arguing about what they do not know, saying there is nothing on the bill for people to shout about.

Obieze asked the public not to discourage people from other parts of the country from coming to Enugu to do business.

He said that should the mostly nomadic herders come to the state, however, they must operate under existing laws.

Mr Harrison Ogara, representing Igbo-Eze South, noted that the bill would guarantee peace between farmers and herders and asked the executive arm of government to be strategic in its implementation.

In his remark, the Speaker, Chief Uche Ugwu, assured the people of the state that the Assembly would not pass a bill capable of truncating peace in the state.

The Eastern Updates reports that a similar bill on “Open Grazing Prohibition” was passed by the last state assembly in 2021.

The passage came in line with the deadline issued by the Southern Governors for an end to the open rearing of cattle.

The bill sought to “prevent the destruction of farms, farm crops, community ponds, settlements and property by open rearing and grazing of livestock.

The Eastern Updates

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