The Grazing Reserves Commission Bill - How not to handle a business-model challenge


Monday, April 18, 2016 3:22 PM / Expanded Thoughts on fb post by Kelechi Deka

It would appear to a forward thinking nation that the “Grazing Reserves Commission Bill” is a waste of legislative time and resources. However, it is understandable given the high rate of truancy in the NASS and how they've all been behaving since their inauguration.

It remains unclear why we need a new “Act to provide for a the establishment of The National Grazing Reserve (Establishment and Development) Commission 2015” and not look into “The National Grazing Route and Reserve Act 2011” which already provides for a commission et al; and amend as necessary bearing in mind the   difference between land reserves and ranches...especially considering the provisions on “common interest” as defined by the Land Use Act.

Whatever the motive or rationale, it would appear that this issue, judging from best practice management of livestock grazing, suffers a serious problem of context and problem definition. 

The challenges being faced by the Nigerian herdsmen is a business challenge. Every sector of the Nigerian economy is facing one challenge or another and they are not sponsoring any bill to that effect. Rather they sit down and seek for solutions.

The Fulani herdsmen are in business. The Farmers whose crops are trampled and destroyed are in business. If the herdsmen need some grazing lands, let them go and talk to the farmers, reach an agreement (if the farmers agree); they should enter into legally binding agreements/contracts with clearly spelt out dos and donts.


It is not for the federal government to create another behemoth in the name of commission with staff, etc at a time of financial crunch; or at any other time as a matter of governance principle and fair practice.

When Idumota became too uncomfortable for traders dealing in new motor spare parts, resulting in daily clashes with area boys and landlords,
they did not go to the NASS or Lagos Assembly to sponsor a bill. They sat down with government officials and Lagos State to get a lease of the Trade Fair Complex and they moved there,establishing a new community of business people.

Same goes to the frequent clashes at Ladipo, Ketu, Mile 12 and many environs in the country. It does not require NASS intervention or Bill. The market leaders should sit down with government officials and landlords to sort things out.

You can't sacrifice one's means of livelihood to appease another's.

The herdsmen should all be properly registered so they know who is who, and they should also be paying taxes to the states they feed their cattle from. That is what the tax law says. Their contributions to national economy should not only be that they provide us with meat. We buy the meat. It is an economic activity like any other within the food supply chain of the sovereign and should be managed as such.

This is a private sector matter and should be left at that.

The only responsibility the government has is to maintain law and order. If someone is carrying unlicensed firearm and foing about in the bush, arrest him or such group. If another disturbs public peace, arrest him or the group. Treat all cases of abduction, trespassing and any other similar cases in line with the extant laws of the land.

The NASS should stop creating new problems to solve old problems.


Related News/ References

1.       An Act to Provide for a the establishment of The National Grazing Reserve (Establishment and Development) Commission 2015

2.      The National Grazing Route and Reserve Act 2011  ... –

3.      The 3Rs of Grazing Viz.:- Rights, Routes and Reserves ...

4.      National Assembly | Federal Republic of Nigeria – NASS motion

5.      Land Use Act 1990 –

6.      Summary of the Land Use Act Decree No. 6 of 1978 in Nigeria

7.      An Overview Of Nigeria´s Land Use Amendment Bill - Real ... Jun 24, 2009

8.     Land reform in nigeria - World Bank by AL Mabogunje / World Bank

9.      The Land Use Act and the State of Nigerian Land Law by LK Agbosu / Cambridge Journal

10.  Ranching, yes! 'Grazing reserves', no!! - Vanguard – Mar 31, 2016

11.   DOI: BLM: Livestock Grazing - Bureau of Land Management

-Feb 3, 2016 - The BLM administers nearly 18,000 permits and leases held by ranchers who graze their livestock, mostly cattle and sheep, at least part of the ...

12.  Grazing, Livestock & Land - Ranch Advisory Partners

13.  Cattle Grazing‎ - Learn the truth about consequences of livestock on your public lands.

14.  Grazing Reserve Development - Centre for Human Rights


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