The Senate, yesterday, denied that it was deliberating on the National Grazing Bill, explaining that it only featured during the 7th Assembly.
Senator Enyinaya Abaribe,Chairman, Senate Committee on Information and National Orientation, raised an alarm at plenary over speculation in the social media that a bill seeking to establish the National Grazing Commission had passed second reading in the 8th Senate.
Abariba raised a point of order under Order 43 on personal explanation. He said he had been bombarded with over 1,000 calls from members of his constituency and the public on the present Senate passing the said bill.
According to him, this surprised him, given that he was not aware that such a bill was before the present Senate.
He requested to know when the said bill was passed by the 8th Senate.
To the best of his memory, the bill on grazing reserve was presented at the 7th Senate by Senator Zainab Kure, who represented Niger South in the 7th Senate. He also recalled that the bill was then rejected.
After the Senate President , Bukola Saraki noted his concern, the red chamber released an official statement through its Committee on Rules and Business.
It was signed by Senator Babajide Omoworare, chairman of the committee, and said “Several distinguished senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have been inundated with the request by members of the public concerning the pendency of a National Grazing Bill in the Senate.
“This is to clarify that no such bill has been presented by the executive arm of government and none has so far been filed by any Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the 8th Senate.
“For the avoidance of doubt, a ‘National Grazing Reserve Establishment and Development Commission Bill’ (SB. 60) was presented by Senator Zainab Kure (Niger Central) during the 7th Senate (2011 – 2015) which has now expired by the operations of law on the June 6, 2015 in furtherance of Section 64(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.”
This is coming days after The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said, on a morning show on Channels Television, Sunrise Daily that the Federal Government had made plans to create grazing reserves clearly demarcated for herdsmen as a short term solution to the recent clashed between them and farmers.
He added that the President had taken the issue before the National Council of State with a view to getting state governors’ input.