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Rivers Assembly Holds Public Hearing On Anti-Open Grazing Bill

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Rivers State House of Assembly, on Friday, held a public hearing on the bill prohibiting open rearing and grazing of livestock and ranching administration.

The bill was sent to the House by Governor Nyesom Wike in line with the resolution of Southern Governors to ban open grazing of cattle in the region.

The Southern Governors further set a September deadline for all the states in the region to provide a legal framework for the ban on open grazing.

Speaking during the public hearing on the bill in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Chapter Chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Ibrahim Idris, appealed to the Rivers State House of Assembly to allow their members to be included in the committee to be set up to regulate grazing and ranching at the state and local government levels.

Idris also thanked the Rivers State Government for the “proactive steps” taken to regulate open grazing in the state.

Also speaking, the General Secretary of the Rivers State chapter of Miyetti Allah cattle breeders, Beri Zouda, “argued that the price of livestock will skyrocket” if the bill is passed into law due to vehicular movement of cattle to butchers as contained in the bill.

On his part, the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Environment and Agriculture, Anselem Oguguo, explained that the bill is only meant to “protect the people of the state and not victimize any group or section of the country.”

Members of the civil society organisations as well as the Nigeria Bar Association were also present at the public hearing on Friday.

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