DAWN backs South West governors on open ban of open grazing, says regional reorganization of cattle business coming
The Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission on Monday threw its weight behind the decision of South West governors to ban open grazing in the region, disclosing that a reorganization of cattle-rearing business in the region was underway.
The Director General (DG) of DAWN, Mr Seye Oyeleye, told reporters in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital that those opposing the ban are refusing to align with new developments in agribusiness which are guiding developmental plans of South West states.
Oyeleye said the commission was already working with the states to develop a blueprint on how major players in the private sector can invest in cattle-ranching in the region which he said would completely transform the sub-sector of the economy, adding that agriculture is the major occupation of people of the region.
He said: “Those opposed to ban of open grazing in Western Nigeria should realise that open grazing is harmful to us in this region. And if your way of life is harmful to our own way of life, you may want to review your decision because we are predominantly farmers in this region. They can buy land and do ranching. The world has moved away from open grazing. We don’t want that here. Interestingly, some of the people that used to oppose it have now realised the need to stop open grazing.
“Ban on open grazing is only the first step in Western Nigeria. Next is that new ideas to transform cattle-rearing, which is a multi-billion naira sector, are coming. Investors will invest in cattle ranching and it will transform the economy. We have the market.”
Oyeleye also called on governors in the region to enforce the anti-open grazing law, stressing that anyone who is not willing to participate in the organised cattle business will naturally find their way out and join other sectors of the economy.
He said the commission has already produced position paper to the states on how to organise the sub-sector.
The DG added that the first step in finding a lasting solution to the myriads of problems confronting Nigeria is restructuring. He explained that the country needs to be restructured politically, economically and socially to allow constituents units function maximally through power devolution.
Oyeleye also urged the Federal Government to be alive to its responsibility of policing Nigerian borders against influx of criminal foreigners. He said the commission would not support ethnic profiling but that a situation where most of the criminals encountered have been found to be of a particular ethnic but who are non-Nigerians, means that the Federal Government is failing in effectively policing the country’s borders.
He further stated that the government should also sponsor a review of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocols which allows nationals of member states to enter the country without registering the purpose of entering the country.