By Sunday Isuwa, Abuja
Senators yesterday disagreed over a proposed livestock bill seeking to restrict movement of cattle in the country.
The lawmakers were divided along regional lines while speaking on the Bill for an Act to provide for the National Livestock Bureau sponsored by Bima Muhammad Enagi (Niger).
The bill had failed to see the light of the day in the 8th Senate presided over by Sen Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
But speaking yesterday, Enagi said a national livestock identification database will be created if the Livestock Bill is passed.
Enagi said the Bureau will ensure livestock are healthy and proper management of disease, surveillance, prevention and quick response to disease outbreaks.
“It will so deter animal theft, especially as it affects the incessant cattle rustling crisis, aid intelligence gathering by security agencies towards mitigating the incessant conflicts between herders and farmers.
“The Bureau when created will facilitate and ensure the operationalisation of a national system of livestock identification, registration and traceability through developing strategies, mechanisms and schemes for the implementation of the system and in particular, evolve a standard national uniform procedure.
“The National Database would serve as a guide for policy formulation by the government. It would also ensure the regulation of participants in the livestock business,” Enagi said.
Spokesman of the Senate, Ajibola Bashiru (Osun Central) said no aspect of the exclusive and concurrent components of the constitution empowers the National Assembly to legislate on Livestock.
Specifically, Bashiru said by Section four of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria and the second schedule of the constitution, it is the states that have the power to legislate on livestock.
But supporting the bill, Bala Ibn Na’Allah (Kebbi South), said nothing stops the National Assembly to legislate on the issue.
Speaking on the matter, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said every parliament would want their people to have food reserve stating that they will legislate and allowed the states to compliment what the National Assembly is doing.
Lawan said in February 2010, the National Assembly had passed the doctrine of necessity motion and made Goodluck Jonathan acting President adding that it was not part of the country’s laws.