FG won’t force cattle colony on states, says Osibanjo

OrderPaperToday – The Federal Government has said it would not force any State to allocate land for cattle colonies.

It backed this statement with the Land Use Act of 1978, which puts land under the control of State Governors.

Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo made these submissions on Thursday while inaugurating the security summit organized by the Senate ad-hoc Committee on Security Infrastructure.

He said: “The Federal Government cannot dictate to states what to do with their land. This is so because the Land Use Act 1978 puts land under the control of governors on behalf of their States.

“Also, the Supreme Court in a case between the Attorney General of Lagos state against the Attorney General of the Federation in 2004 held that the use of land (resources of every kind) lies firmly in the hand of the Governor. Even the use of federal land in the State, building and other permits must be sought from the State.

“However, in several States, especially in the north, there are duly designated grazing zones. Majority of these grazing reserves are degraded and largely without pasture or water especially in the dry seasons. Grazing routes leading to these reserves must also be secured.

“Let me reiterate that on no account will any land be seized or forcefully taken to create ranches or grazing areas. All insinuations to that effect should be disregarded. Instead, it is in our view that States that are willing should cooperate even with willing investors into commercially viable government-supported ranches or livestock production centres for commercial use.”

Osibanjo, however, noted that despite the fact that the Federal Government cannot force the States to take part, stakeholders widely believe that adequate provision of these ranches would stop the rise of insecurity.

The Vice President further disclosed that 13 states have agreed to allocate land for livestock production.

He said: “So far, about thirteen states have agreed to allocate 5,000 lands for livestock production. We must emphasize that in arriving at any of these decisions, the states, federal government and all stakeholders have to seat together and work out solutions that would benefit everyone. This cannot be done by fiat or force but people simply have to work together to ensure that there is adequate consultation and that everyone is on board.”

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