Another bill likely to provoke controversy, the National Ranches Commission Bill, was also introduced in the Senate same day.
Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano Central) and others are listed as sponsors of the National Grazing Reserve Agency Bill entitled: “National Grazing Reserves Agency (establishment etc) Bill 2016 (SB.292.”
Senator Barnabas Gemade (Benue North East) sponsored the National Ranches Commission (establishment etc) Bill 2016 (SB 293).
Both bills passed the mandatory first reading on Wednesday.
Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah (Kebbi South), who read the bills said, “do we take it that the bills have passed second reading?
The Senate chamber erupted with a deafening “No, not at all.”
The National Grazing Reserve Agency Bill pending in the House of Representatives has been roundly criticized as a ploy by the Federal Government to grab and seize land from their original owner to be given to cattle herders.
The same Bill sponsored by Senator Zanaib Kure from Niger State failed to fly in the sixth Senate when it was introduced.
At a recent public hearing in the Senate on the clashes between farmers and herdsmen, the federal government, represented by Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, canvassed for the establishment of ranches.
The leaders of the herdsmen, under the aegis of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria stoutly opposed the establishment of ranches.
They insisted on creation of grazing reserves in parts of the country as the only solution to farmers and herdsmen clashes.