Bill To End Open Grazing, Land Grabbing Signed Into Law In Enugu


By Johnson Nwankwo

Governor of Enugu State, Dr Peter Mbah, has signed four bills into law, saying they were part of his administration’s effort to make the state the number one in Ease of Doing Business and preferred destination for investment, business, tourism, and living.

They are the Enugu State Properties Protection Law, to checkmate the activities of land grabbers; Enugu State Ranch Management Law to stem the tide of open grazing and attract both local and foreign investment in the livestock industry; the Enugu State Sports Development Fund Law to reposition the sports sector as a major source of economic growth and the Enugu State Environmental, and Climate Protection Law.

At the ceremony witnessed by the Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon Uchenna Ugwu and the Clerk of the State Assembly, Dr Emma Udaya, among other senior government functionaries, Mbah said that with the laws, the days of land-grabbing and open-grazing were numbered.

“The Enugu State Properties Protection Law is in line with our promise to enhance the ease of doing business in Enugu State. People, who come to Enugu State to invest in property, must do so in sure knowledge that the title document that is issued to them is worth much more than the paper that it is written on.

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“That is why we frown at land grabbers, people who go out there to grab land even when they do not have any title to that land. Essentially, this law is designed to penalyse such acts. This is a big warning to those people who engage in going to empty plots of land to grab them. Under the new law, there are severe and strict punishments that await people who get themselves involved in such acts”, he said.

He also regretted the total misunderstanding of the Ranch Management Agency Law, saying that with the law now in place, people were now expected to rear cows in a civilised manner.

“This law, I believe, has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. We had sometime been accused of surreptitiously trying to introduce something beyond just ranching. However, we have to put an end to the idea of having cattle graze openly and then creating friction between our farmers and herders. Our objective here is to ensure that it ends.

“In the 21st Century, there is no reason why we should encourage the open grazing of cattle. So, this law is essentially designed to ensure that people act in a civilised manner. We are going to ensure that we have enough services, create abattoir and proper cattle market, not where people will come and live.”

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On the Environmental and Climate Protection Law, he said, “Again, we understand the importance of just going beyond mere lip service in protecting our environment. So, what we have done here today is to set out clear policies and plans for us to protect our environment. We all know the danger that the depletion of the ozone layer poses to us as a people.”

Governor Mbah further explained that the Enugu State Sports Development Fund Law would assist the state to “build capacity, nurture talents from the grassroots, encourage school sports, and essentially develop our sports sector.“

“We see sports not just as recreation. We see it as a veritable sector by means of which we can encourage business. And the bill that is signed into law today is going to help us accomplish it.”

He commended the State Assembly for expeditiously passing the various executive bills initiated by his administration, saying such partnership was the beauty of democracy.

In his remarks earlier, the Speaker, Hon Ugwu, expressed happiness that the bills signed into law would better the lives of the people of Enugu State, saying the House would continue to partner with the executive for the common good.

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