President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate review of 368 grazing reserves in 25 out of the 36 states of the federation.
This was announced in a statement issued by the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, on Thursday.
According to the statement, Buhari’s approval followed his approval of the recommendations of a committee chaired by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
The statement said the committee also recommended the collection of field data on the grazing routes to assess levels of encroachment, stakeholder engagements, and sensitisation.
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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.
The President directed that the assignment be undertaken with dispatch to bring more understanding on the Grazing Reserves, and implementation.
Members of the committee included Governor of Kebbi State and Vice Chairman, National Food Security Council, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; Governor of Ebonyi State and Chairman of NEC Sub-Committee for National Livestock Transformation Plan, David Umahi; Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono; Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar; and Deputy Chief of Staff, Ade Ipaye.
The Technical Sub-Committee consisted of representatives from the seven members of the main committee in addition to representatives from Ministry of Justice, Surveyor General of the Federation, National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) and National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA).
The Terms of Reference of the Committee, which held its inaugural meeting on May 10, 2021, include to collate from states and confirm the status of all Grazing Reserves, 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 was also expected to make recommendations for gazetting of ungazetted Grazing Reserves and create a database of National Cattle Herders and ensure that Grazing Reserves were well communicated to all stakeholders.