The Senate has on Wednesday put aside the second reading of three bills on grazing reserve due to claims by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, that the National Assembly lacks power to legislate on the issue.
The bills are: ‘A Bill for An Act to Provide for the Establishment of Grazing Areas Management Agency and For Other Related Matters 2016’ sponsored by Senator Rabi’u Kwankwaso (Kano-Central) and ‘A Bill for An Act to Provide for the Establishment of National Ranches Commission for the Regulation, Management, Preservation and Control of Ranches and for Connected Purposes 2016 sponsored by Senator Barnabas Gemade (Benue North-East).
The third is ‘A Bill for An Act to Control the Keeping and Movement of Cattle in Nigeria and for Other Related Matters Thereto 2016’ sponsored by Senator Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu-North).
The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who raised a point of order when the lawmakers began to treat the bills during Wednesday’s plenary, pointed out that the Senate lacked the powers to deal with matters that are on the Concurrent List, except on the Exclusive List.
“We don’t have power on grazing reserves bills.It is under the purview of the states. It is not in the exclusive list.The bill should be withdrawn.
“I challenge anybody to show me the exclusive list where it is under the purview of the National Assembly to legislate on that matter,”he said.
After the Point of Order, the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, advised the sponsors of the bills to withdraw them for further consultation.
The Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume, also supported Ekweremadu’s point.