19th August, 2021
By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved recommendations of a committee to review “with dispatch, 368 grazing sites, across 25 states in the country, and to determine the levels of encroachment.”
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, confirmed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
He did not indicate the states affected, amid local laws curbing open grazing in many states.
Shehu said the review committee was chaired by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, who had pushed the wrong view that there grazing routes across Nigeria..
Garba said, among others, the committee had recommended the collection of field data collection on 368 Grazing Reserves across 25 states to assess encroachment and encroachers, stakeholder engagements and sensitization.
He noted that the Committee also recommended production of maps and geo-mapping/tagging of sites, analysis of findings and report preparations as well as design appropriate communication on grazing reserves and operations.
“The number of the grazing reserves and states were deduced from considerations of existing security concerns and other pre-existing socio-economic conditions,’’ he said.
The presidential aide quoted President Buhari as directing that the assignment be undertaken with dispatch to bring more understanding on the grazing reserves, and implementation.
Members of the committee include, Governor of Kebbi State and Vice Chairman, National Food Security Council, Atiku Bagudu, Governor of Ebonyi and Chairman of NEC Sub-Committee for National Livestock Transformation Plan, David Umahi, and Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu.
Others are; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Mahmood and Deputy Chief of Staff, Ade Ipaye.
The Technical Sub-Committee consists of representatives from the seven members of the main committee in addition to representatives from Ministry of Justice, Surveyor General of the Federation, National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) and National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA).
The presidential aide revealed that, among its terms of reference, the Committee was to collate from states and confirm the status of all Grazing Reserves.
It would also assess the percentage of available land and those with existing encroachment complications for case-by-case resolution in partnership with state governments and the FCT.
He said the Committee would also make recommendations for gazetting of ungazetted grazing reserves and create a data base of National Cattle Herders and ensure that Grazing Reserves are well communicated to all stakeholders.
Shehu stated that the inaugural meeting of the Committee was held on May 10, 2021.