By Dipo Olowookere
The upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly, the Senate, has put the passage of the controversial Grazing and Ranches Bills on hold.
Three bills are presently before the Senate on the regulation of cattle rearing in the country, but the lawmakers stopped the second reading of them on the floor on Wednesday.
According to the Deputy Senate President, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, who raised a point of order when the bills were raised for deliberations today, noted that the Senate lacked the powers to deal with matters because they were on the Concurrent List.
He urged the red chamber to suspend deliberating the bills.
His argument was backed by Majority Leader of the Senate, Mr Ali Ndume from Borno State.
It would be recalled that Senator Rabi’u Kwankwaso from Kano State sponsored a Bill for An Act to Provide for the Establishment of Grazing Areas Management Agency and For Other Related Matters 2016, while Senator Barnabas Gemade from Benue State sponsored a Bill for An Act to Provide for the Establishment of National Ranches Commission for the Regulation, Management, Preservation and Control of Ranches and for Connected Purposes 2016.
Also, Senator Chukwuka Utazi from Enugu State sponsored a Bill for An Act to Control the Keeping and Movement of Cattle in Nigeria and for Other Related Matters Thereto 2016.
The bills have been greeted with mixed reactions with some alleging that the government was planning to give herdsmen in the country to authority to move anywhere without restrictions.
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