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Open-grazing ban, VAT bills scale second reading at Lagos Assembly

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Lagos House of Assembly Speaker Mudashiru Obasa
Lagos House of Assembly Speaker Mudashiru Obasa
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The Bill seeking to ban open grazing in Lagos State has scaled through the second reading at the State House of Assembly and forwarded to the committee on Agriculture for further legislative inputs.

The legislators also read for the first and second time, the Lagos Value Added Tax (VAT) bill and asked the Committee on Finance to give a report on Thursday.

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

Obasa suggested that the proposal should make provision for the registration of herders and prepare them for ranching.

On the VAT bill, the Speaker said it would lead to an increase in revenue and infrastructure development in line with fiscal federalism.

He urged the Lagos government to do everything legally possible to ensure that the judgement of a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt is sustained up to the Supreme Court.

Obasa lamented that while the state generates about N500 billion annually and others in the South-West generate around N300 billion, they are all paltry amounts to the federal government.

Bisi Yusuff, representing Alimosho 1 lamented the havoc herdsmen have caused in the region.

He said farmers are now afraid to visit their farms, with many now indebted because it is difficult to pay back loans.

Yusuff condemned cattle roaming, the fear and accidents they cause, and advocated stiffer penalties for herders carrying firearms.

Kehinde Joseph (Alimosho 2) called open grazing in the 21st century an aberration.

Joseph said the bill would ensure peaceful coexistence, reduce crime and help to guide the activities of herders.

Olumoh Lukman (Ajeromi-Ifelodun 1) suggested that the High Court or a Special Court handle cases from the enforcement of the bill when passed and signed.

Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti Osa 2) decried how cows move about in a city like Lagos and confirmed the state has 250 hectares of land in Ikorodu and another 750 hectares on Epe for ranching.

Tobun Abiodun (Epe 1) said it was common to see cattle going to school as if they want to learn.

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Agriculture

Senate passes bill to establish Agricultural Development Fund

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Nigerian Senate
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The Senate, on Tuesday, passed a bill to establish the National Agricultural Development Fund.

The passage of the bill followed the consideration of a motion for re-commital of the National Development Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2022.

The motion was sponsored by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi North).

Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, in his presentation, recalled that both chambers of the National Assembly passed the National Development Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2022, and transmitted same to the President for assent.

He noted that after critical examination of the Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari, some fundamental issues which required fresh legislative action on some Clauses were observed.

He explained that against the backdrop, a Technical Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives met and worked on the affected Clauses of the Bill, “desirous of the need to assess the observations by the Committee and make necessary amendments.”

Accordingly, the chamber rescinded its decision on the affected Clause of the Bill as passed and re-committed same to the Committee of the Whole for re-consideration and passage.

The bill was passed by the chamber after the affected Clauses were re-considered by the Committee of the Whole.

In a related development, a total of three bills scaled second reading during plenary on Tuesday.

The bills are for an Act to provide for the facilitation and co-ordination of public infrastructure development; to amend the Provisions of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission Act; and to Repeal the Quarantine Act and Enact the National Health Emergency Act.

The bills were sponsored by Senators Sadiq Suleiman Umar (Kwara North); Uche Lilian Ekwunife (Anambra Central); and Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu North).

The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over plenary on Tuesday, referred the bills after consideration to the Committees on National Planning; Trade and Investment; and Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases.

The Committees were given four weeks to report back to the chamber in plenary.
 

 

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Agriculture

Senate passes bill to establish College of Crop Science and Food Technology

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Senate President Ahmad Lawan
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 …approves Federal University of Agriculture in Enugu State

 The Senate has passed a bill seeking to establish the Federal College of Crop Science and Food Technology Lere, Kaduna State.

This was even as the chamber gave its nod to four bills for concurrence from the House of Representatives.

Also passed was a bill seeking to establish the Federal University of Agriculture Mpu, Enugu State.

The passage of the bills to establish the Federal College of Crop Science and Federal University of Agriculture  was sequel to the consideration of two separate reports by the Committees on Agriculture and Rural Development; and Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.

Presentations on the reports were made by Senator Abdullahi Adamu, who chairs the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development;  and Senator Tolulope Odebiyi, on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, Senator Ahmad Babba-Kaita.

Senator Abdullahi, in his presentation, said the establishment of the Federal College of Crop Sciences and Food Technology, Lere, would provide full-time or part-time courses of in Crop Science and Food Technology, Applied Science, Commerce and Management.

He added that the Institution would also provide training to address the needs of Nigeria in the area of agricultural production, industrial distribution and research in the development and adaptation of technologies.

In a related development, the Senate on Wednesday passed four bills for concurrence from the House of Representatives.

The bills were sponsored by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North).

The bills include: the National Biotechnology Development Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2022; and School of Mines and Geological Studies, Akoko Edo Local Government (Establishment) Bill, 2022.

Others are the Federal Medical Centre Igboho, Oyo State (Establishment) Bill, 2022; and Federal College of Education Keana, Nasarawa State (Establishment) Bill, 2022.

The four bills for concurrence were passed after a clause-by-clause consideration by the Committee of the Whole.

Meanwhile, a Bill For An Act to Amend the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) Act 2022, on Wednesday, scaled second reading.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar (Kwara North).

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, referred the bill after consideration to the Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters for further legislative work.

The Committee was given four weeks to report back to the Senate in plenary.

 

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Agriculture

Food Security: Senate approves establishment of National Rice Development Council

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Pyramids of Rice
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…says Nigeria’ll save $2bn annually on rice importation 
 
The Senate has passed a bill seeking to establish the National Rice Development Council, a move that would see to Nigeria saving about $2 billion dollars on rice importation and improve the country’s foreign exchange earnings.

The passage of the bill followed the consideration of a report by the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

Chairman of the Committee, Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa West), in his presentation, said that the bill seeks to establish a Council that would lead to a comprehensive development of the rice sector and the organisation of rice stakeholders to enhance local production of rice in Nigeria.

He explained that the establishment of the Council would transform the activities of rice farmers, rice processors, millers, researchers, marketers and other important stakeholders across the entire rice value chain, particularly the clusters of smallholder rice farmers and small scale millers spread all over the country.

“Mr. President and Distinguished Colleagues, with our natural comparative advantage in the area of rice production as a country, Nigeria should consider the need to put in place a National Rice Development Council and a fail-safe comprehensive national rice development roadmap that will guide us not only into a regime of self-sufficiency in production, but also for export purposes, employment generation for our teaming youth and growth of our economy.

“The Nigerian rice industry exists in abstract as there appears to be no form of coordination in the absence of a properly structured rallying point.

“Today, we have Paddy Rice Dealers Association of Nigeria (PRIDAN), Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN), Rice Millers Association of Nigeria (RIMAN) and many more.

“This Bill seeks to establish that rallying point and a comprehensive National operational and governance structure for a complete rice value chain process.

“Mr. President and Distinguished Colleagues, this Bill on its own merit will improve government efforts for efficient policy and regulatory framework for the Nigerian Rice Industry; promote enabling business and investment environments for Rice stakeholders; support the growth of the Rice industry in Nigeria and in the sub-region as well as promote the sustainability of foreign exchange earnings put at about 2 billion dollars annually for Rice related importation to the country.

“The framework created by thịs Bill will pull investment into rice production, provide the missing link between rice production and industrialization, provide employment, reduce migration from rural to urban cities and enhance socio-economic activities all over the country.

“Few countries having Rice Council include Rice Council of Tanzania, USA Rice Council, Directorate of Rice Development (India), Rice Association of Thailand, among others”, Senator Adamu said.

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