Group tasks Gov. Obaseki, Legislature to ban open grazing in Edo

Group tasks Gov. Obaseki, Legislature to ban open grazing in Edo
Written by Maritime First

…As VAT bill scales second reading at Ogun assembly***

New Nigeria Initiative, a pressure group, on Tuesday in Benin urged Gov. Godwin Obaseki and the Edo State House of Assembly to urgently enact an anti-grazing law.

It noted during a protest march to the NUJ Secretariat that the enactment of the law would be in consonance with an agreement already reached by the 17 governors in the south of Nigeria.

Chairman of the group, Mr Uwadiae Odigie, said that the horror perpetrated by herdsmen on peaceful and law-abiding people of the state was no longer acceptable.

The solution, he said, was to end open grazing in the state.

“This organisation, moved by the unspeakable horror being perpetrated on peaceful and law-abiding people of Edo, initiated a Bill to ban open grazing in Edo.

“This Bill has since been sent to the Edo State House of Assembly for consideration and passage.

“After waiting in vain, we made spirited efforts to see Gov. Obaseki on the need for intervention. At the end of the day, we were directed to see the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture.

“We have been mounting pressure on the Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Marcus Onobun, on the urgent need to pass the Bill to ban open grazing in Edo, but all efforts have been in vain.

“Now it has been transparently and sufficiently established that herdsmen are the ones unleashing terror and fear in Edo.

“The horrible and shocking cases of the murder of Olajide Sowore and the recent kidnapping of elder statesman, Dickson Imasogie, and other isolated cases are proof,’’ Odigie said.

Gunmen, suspected to be herdsmen, shot and killed Olajide Sowore the immediate younger brother of Omoyele Sowore, African Action Congress Presidential Candidate in the 2019 General Elections on Sept. 4.

The younger Sowore was on his way to Ondo State from Igbinedion University in Edo where he was studying Pharmacy when he met his premature death.

In the meantime, a bill for a law to impose and charge Value Added Tax (VAT) on certain goods and services, provide for administration of the tax and for related purposes on Tuesday scaled second reading at Ogun State House of Assembly.

Mr Deji Adeyemo, Clerk of the Assembly, read the bill for the first time during plenary session in Abeokuta, while the Majority Leader, Mr Yusuf Sherif, moved the motion for the second reading which was seconded by Mr Ganiyu Oyedeji.

Also read: Gov. Fintiri signs 3 bills into law

While opening debate on the bill, Mr Olakunle Sobukanla, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, noted that the bill was an avenue for the state to generate more revenue for its development.

Sobukanla added that the more internally generated revenue by the state, the more infrastructure development in all sectors of the state.

In his submission, Oyedeji explained that collection of VAT would allow the state to generate more revenue and meet needs of the people.

The lawmaker stated that the people’s needs included fixing of bad roads and the construction of new ones, provision of healthcare facilities among others, which all required finance.

Other lawmakers who spoke supported the quick passage of the bill, saying that it would boost the socio-economic development of the state.

They noted that passage of the bill would be a financial restructuring and a form of redistribution of internally generated revenue.

In his response, Mr Olakunle Oluomo, the Speaker of the house, commended the lawmakers for the deliberation, adding that the VAT law was needed in the state for more economic development.

The speaker committed the bill to the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation for further legislative actions.

The newsmen report that also during Tuesday’s plenary, the Ogun State Anti-Corruption Law 2021, scaled first reading.


About the author

Maritime First