President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a committee’s recommendation to review 368 grazing sites in 25 states.
He directed the committee, which was tasked with, among other things, “determining the levels of encroachment,” to complete its work “as quickly as possible.”
According to Mallam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, the directive came after he approved the recommendations of the committee chaired by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
The committee had recommended, among other things, collecting field data on 368 Grazing Reserves in 25 states to assess encroachment and encroachers, stakeholder engagements, and sensitization.
The Committee also recommended that maps and geo-mapping/tagging of sites be produced, that findings are analysed and reports are prepared, and that appropriate communication on Grazing Reserves and operations be designed.
The number of Grazing Reserves and States was calculated based on existing security concerns and other pre-existing socioeconomic conditions.
The President directed that the assignment be completed as soon as possible to improve understanding and implementation of the Grazing Reserves.
Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, Governor of Kebbi and Vice Chairman of the National Food Security Council; David Umahi, Governor of Ebonyi and Chairman of the NEC Sub-Committee for the National Livestock Transformation Plan; Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Water Resources; Sabo Nanon, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development; and Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, Minister of Environment.
Representatives from the main committee’s seven members, as well as the Ministry of Justice, the Surveyor-General of the Federation, the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), and the National Space Research Development Agency, make up the Technical Sub-Committee (NASRDA).
The Committee’s Terms of Reference included gathering information from states and confirming the status of all Grazing Reserves, calculating the percentage of available land and identifying those with encroachment issues for case-by-case resolution in collaboration with state governments and the FCT.
The Committee will also make recommendations for the gazetting of ungazetted Grazing Reserves, the creation of a database of National Cattle Herders, and the effective communication of Grazing Reserves to all stakeholders.
The Committee’s first meeting was held on May 10, 2021.
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