Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has disclosed that the Grazing Reserves Act of 1964 which President Muhammadu Buhari was bent on reviving was only applicable to northern Nigeria in the 1960s.
In a statement issued on Sunday and titled, ‘President Buhari Should Embrace Ranching,’ Falana argued that the Grazing Reserves Act of 1964 was not a law of general application because the “Western Region, Mid-Western Region and the Eastern Region had ranches for animal husbandry.”
Falana, therefore, advised Buhari to promote ranching instead of attempting to revive grazing routes.
The human rights lawyer stated that in 2016, the federal government announced that it had acquired 55,000 hectares of land in 11 states for grazing of cattle.
“Shortly thereafter the federal government adopted cattle colony or Ruga Policy. But due to the opposition which greeted the concept of cattle colony in many quarters the federal government jettisoned the policy and adopted the Livestock Transformation Policy including ranching in 2018,” Falana recalled.
He noted that the Chairman of the sub-committee on farmer/herder crisis, Mr. Dave Umahi, who is also the Governor of Ebonyi State, disclosed that the federal government would bear 80 per cent of the sum of N100billion earmarked for ranching while participating states would support with N20billion and provision of lands for the programme.
In 2019, the Central Bank of Nigeria also announced plans to provide loans for ranching and milk production.