Friday, January 21, 2022

Bill for adopting ranching in Plateau scales 2nd reading at State Assembly

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By Muhammad Shittu – An executive bill seeking the establishment of Plateau State Livestock Transformation Programme, SLTP, on Thursday scaled through the Second Reading at the State House of Assembly.

Leading a debate on the bill during Thursday’s plenary, Majority Leader Naa’anlong Daniel, stressed the socio-economic importance of the bill, saying that if passed into law, the bill will greatly advance the course of peace and mitigate herder/farmer clashes in the state.

Contributing to the debate, Ibrahim Baba-Hassan, said for the program to succeed, an intensive awareness campaign must be embarked upon to enlighten the herders, farmers and citizens.

He said: “Mr. Speaker and honourable colleagues, my thoughts on the ranching programme is that there should be an intense awareness campaign.

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“Massive enlightenment and sensitisation are required to enable willful buy-in into the programme. This is key and critical.

“Traditional leadership (Ardos), youth, religious leaders and critical stakeholders must be sensitised before implementation,” he said.

According to Mr Hassan, the law should address the fears of the herders, especially on the proposed ranching sites.

He said: “A ranching site should be opened in each local government of the state for effective management of the scheme.

“What is the likely implications if for instance there is no provision for a ranching site in Bassa LGA, what is the fate of the herders in Bassa,” he asked.

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The lawmaker added that compensation for trespass and killing of cows has to be treated evenly and “NOT arbitrary imposition of outrageous sums for trespass, so as to avoid breeding hatred and the quest for retaliation”.

“Convincing timeframe should be allocated for migration into the ranching scheme. Rushing into implementation won’t yield any positive impact.

“On Section 23 of the Bill, MACBAN should be made a member of the SLTP Board,” he said.

The plenary presided over by Deputy Speaker Sale Shehu-Yipmong, committed the bill to the House Committees on Agriculture, Lands and Survey, as well as Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

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He mandated the committees to submit their reports on December 22, 2021.

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