ENUGU State on Thursday joined the growing list of states prohibiting open grazing in the country as the State House of Assembly announced the passage of the bill that would outlaw open grazing of cattle in the state if signed into law by the state governor.

The Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Edward Ubosi, says the bill was for the good of the state, and not targeted at anybody or group but for the good people of the state and others who live in it.

While thanking the sponsors of the bill, and noting that the people of the state had been clamouring for the law for a long time, Hon. Ubosi said the bill, when signed into law, will prohibit open grazing, regulate cattle ranching and for connected purposes.

He also expressed optimism that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi would not waste time in giving his assent to the bill.

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The speaker thanked the Chairperson of the Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Judiciary, Public Petitions, Ethics and Privileges, Youth, Sports and Security Matters, Hon. (Mrs) Amaka Ugwueze, the co-chairpersons, Emma Ugwuerua and Chinedu Okwu, as well as other members “for their expertise and the speed with which they handled the assignment.”

Hon. Ikechukwu Ezeugwu, the leader of the Assembly, said the passage followed the consideration of the report of the public hearing presented by Hon. Ugwueze.

Hon. Ezeugwu said the bill would be cited as Enugu State Prohibition of Open Grazing, Regulate Cattle Ranching and other Connected Purposes (HB.7) 2021. He explained that the bill would ensure security and peace in the state.

The joint committee had on Tuesday held a public hearing on the bill where the state’s residents and civil society, represented by the traditional rulers, town union leaders, leaders of various groups and institutions gave the Assembly the support to go ahead with passage of the bill.

The House had also received and accepted the report from the member representing Isi-Uzo State Constituency, Ms Ugwueze that all the oral and written submissions received by the committee were in support of immediate passage of the bill. The bill, a 16-page document, has 36 sections.

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