Anti-Open Grazing, VAT bills scale second reading at Lagos Assembly

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Clashes between herdsmen and farmers have been an age-long issue in Nigeria. LUIS TATO / AFP

Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday committed an anti-open grazing bill to the Committee on Agriculture after it scaled second reading. The House also read for the first and second time, the state’s Value-Added Tax bill and asked the Committee on Finance handling it to report back on Thursday.

Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, described the ‘Prohibition of Open Cattle Grazing Bill’ as timely and one that would ensure harmonious relationships between herders and farmers and protect the environment of the state and the South West.

He suggested that the bill should make provision for the registration of herders and prepare them for ranching. “Allocating parcel of land is not enough but there should be a training of those who would go into ranching,” said Obasa who admitted that ranching was expensive and required adequate preparation.

Speaking about the bill on VAT, he expressed hopes that it would lead to an “increase in revenue and increase in infrastructural development. This is in line with fiscal federalism that we have been talking about”. The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) had lost its bid at a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt to stop the Rivers State Government from collecting VAT.

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