The Lagos State Government has expressed its commitment to working with all stakeholders to ensure the implementation of the anti-open grazing, stressing that the legislation is not targeted at any individual or group.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu signed the bill into law on Monday.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, who spoke on “Your View”, a TVC current affairs programme, said the Law followed the resolution of Southern State Governors to stem clashes between herders and farmers, and strengthen the security and safety of the people.
His words: “The Law is not to punish anybody or group as extensive public engagements were done before the Law was passed. The Government organised stakeholders’ meetings; the Lagos State House of Assembly conducted a public hearing to connect with the residents and incorporate their opinions. The State EXCO also reviewed the bill before it was signed into Law.”
“The Anti-Open Grazing Law makes it illegal to parade cattle on streets; cattle rearers are to get permits for cattle movement from the Ministry of Agriculture and those interested in ranching are to consult the Ministry for regulation and control. Parading cattle and carrying firearms now attract 21-year jail term.”
Omotoso said that the law is in consonance with the State Government’s plan for the Red Meat Value Chain, which is to ensure quality in the processing and wholesome production of red meat for the benefit of all stakeholders, including consumers.
Responding to the speculation that the Law will lead to an increase in the price of cows, the Commissioner affirmed that Lagosians want modernisation and movement into the 21st Century Economy being vigorously pursued by the Sanwo-Olu administration and such a comment that the North is against it, is sentimental and imaginary as northerners also live in the State.
“The Law does not hinder the transportation of cows into the State. It only restricts the rearing of cows on the streets. That a cow will now cost two million Naira is preposterous and not realistic,” Omotoso said.
He also said a task force comprising officers of security agencies, who will enforce the Law and prosecute offenders at the regular and special courts, was being put in place.