By John Ikani
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved recommendations of a committee to review “with dispatch”, 368 grazing sites, across 25 states in the country, “to determine the levels of encroachment.”
A statement issued by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, revealed that the President’s directive followed his approval of the recommendations of a committee chaired by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
Among others, the committee had recommended the collection of field data on 368 Grazing Reserves across 25 states to assess encroachment and encroachers, stakeholder engagements and sensitization.
The Committee also recommended production of maps and geo-mapping/tagging of sites, analysis of findings and report preparations, as well as design appropriate communication on Grazing Reserves and operations.
“The number of the grazing reserves and states were deduced from considerations of existing security concerns and other pre-existing socio-economic conditions,’’ Shehu wrote.
According to him, Buhari directed that the assignment be undertaken to facilitate more understanding on grazing reserves.
He said among its terms of reference, the committee is to collate data from states and confirm the status of the grazing reserves.
The committee is also expected to assess the percentage of available land and those with existing encroachment complications for case-by-case resolution, in partnership with state governments and the FCT.
“The Committee would also make recommendations for gazetting of ungazetted grazing reserves and create a database of National Cattle Herders and ensure that Grazing Reserves are well communicated to all stakeholders,” Shehu wrote.
Members of the committee include Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi state, David Umahi of Ebonyi, and Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Water Resources.
Others are Sabo Nanono, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development; Mohammad Mahmood, Minister of Environment, and Ade Ipaye, Deputy Chief of Staff.
The technical sub-committee consists of representatives from the main committee, in addition to representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Surveyor-General of the Federation, National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), and the National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA).