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.”
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, collection on 368 Grazing Reserves across 25 states to assess encroachment and encroachers, stakeholder engagements, and sensitization.
The committee also recommended the 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 was deduced from considerations of existing security concerns and other pre-existing socio-economic conditions.
The President, in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, directed that the assignment be undertaken with dispatch, to bring more understanding on the Grazing Reserves, and implementation.
Members of the committee include the 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 consists of representatives from the seven members of 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).
Among its Terms of Reference, the committee was 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 Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
The committee will 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.
The inaugural meeting of the committee was held on May 10, 2021.