Grazing routes: Falana knocks FG, says only controls land in FCT

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Popular lawyer, Femi Falana SAN says the Federal Government only controls allocation of land in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) by virtue of the Land Use Act.

He stated this on Monday as a guest on Channels Television‘s “Politics Today”.

The senior lawyer spoke in reaction to President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurating a committee to review 368 grazing routes across 25 states.

Falana said, “As far as the law is concerned, the President cannot, with profound respect, be looking for grazing routes in 2021 Nigeria. The Northern Governors’ Forum, Southern Governors’ Forum, Miyetti Allah and other stakeholders have come to the conclusion that open grazing is obsolete and no longer relevant.”

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Explaining that “the land in every state in Nigeria is vested in the governor on behalf of the people,” the popular lawyer emphasised that the president cannot impose any land policy on states.

“Under the Land Use Act, the Federal Government has no control over land in Nigeria outside the Federal Capital Territory, and I think that has to be made very clear,” Falana said.

The senior lawyer stated that the Federal Government in 2018 initiated the National Livestock Transformation Plan that was adopted by the 36 state governments.

He said funds were subsequently allocated to the states that begun implementation of the plan.

“One then wonders where the idea of grazing routes or reserves is coming from.

“If the state governments have adopted and are already investing in the ranching policy of the Federal Government which has given money to one state(Katsina), what is required under the constitution since there is equality before the law, is that the Federal Government has to make available to each states N6.25bn like it has been made available to Katsina State so that ranching can begin in earnest in the country. That would solve this problem once and for all.

“So, the Federal Government has to go back to its own policy which is the National Livestock Transformation Plan. We can’t go back to the policy of the 60s which was applicable under the colonial regime,” Falana said.

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