Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of State on Monday signed the bill to prohibit open cattle grazing and trespass of cattle on land in the state into laws.
With the law, Lagos has joined the league of states in southern Nigeria that have anti-open grazing laws in place.
The law is coming more than two weeks after the September 1 deadline set by the Southern Governor’s Forum for states and barely a week after the governor assented to the State Value Added Tax Bill, empowering the state to collect VAT.
Governor Sanwo-Olu’s assent to the bill also comes after some governors in the South, including Ogun, Ondo, Akwa Ibom, and Rivers signed the same law prohibiting open grazing.
Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly passed the two bills on September 9, following unanimous votes by the lawmakers after they were read for the third time.
While open grazing has been prohibited in some states in the South, other states in the region are making effort to ensure the bill becomes a law.
This is in line with the resolution of the Nigerian Southern Governors Forum that member-states should enact or amend the anti-open grazing laws to align with the uniform template and aspiration of the governors.
In their latest meeting held on Thursday last week in Enugu, the governors reviewed the state of the nation and the progress of implementation of the decisions reached in previous sittings.
They commended the rate at which the states in the South were enacting the anti-open grazing laws and encouraged those yet to enact it to do so expeditiously.
The governors had also encouraged the full operationalisation of already agreed regional security outfits – that would meet, share intelligence and collaborate – to ensure the security of the region.
But the position of the governors has been criticised by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, who said it was unconstitutional.
“It is about constitutionality within the context of the freedoms expressed in our Constitution; can you deny the rights of a Nigerian?” Malami queried during an interview on Channels Television‘s Politics Today in May.
“For example, it is as good as saying, perhaps, maybe, the northern governors coming together to say they prohibit spare parts trading in the North.
“Does it hold water? Does it hold water for a northern governor to come and state expressly that he now prohibits spare parts trading in the North?”