Anti-Open Grazing Law: Bayelsa Constitutes 23-Man Implementation Committee

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...CBN Governor To Commission Cassava Processing Plant

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has constituted a 23-member committee to implement the Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Regulation Law he assented to one week ago.

The committee is chaired by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. David Alagoa with the Special Adviser 1 on Security, Akpoebi Agberebi, Director of Livestock in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Emara Ibegu, and representatives of the police, DSS and NSCDC as members.

Others include King Mozi Agara (Kolokuma/Opokuma local government area), King Dumaro Owaba (Ogbia), Clever Inodu (Nembe), Ebiks Lokpobiri (Ekeremor) and representatives of the four other councils in the state among others.

The governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted him as saying while inaugurating the committee that the law took effect from the day it was signed but the power to execute it was vested in the committee.

His words: “Barely one week ago, I assented to the law. However, the implementation as prescribed by law is that we set up the Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Committee. It is vested with the responsibility for implementation of the law.”

Govenor Diri explained that the law was to prevent clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the state.

“We are aware of the level of insecurity in the country, particularly clashes between herdsmen and farmers. As a state, we are taking precautionary measures to ensure we live peacefully.

“May I advise that nobody should take the law into his hands. Whenever and wherever this law is infringed, the committee should be contacted for full implementation of the law.”

Chairman of the committee, David Alagoa, in his response, thanked the governor and members of the state House of Assembly for being proactive in enacting the law to avert clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the state.

He assured that the committee would work to justify the confidence reposed in the members.

Earlier, Governor Diri received the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Shehuri, who paid him a courtesy visit in Government House, Yenagoa.

Senator Diri hinted that the cassava processing plant at Ebedebiri in Sagbama Local Government Area, which was started by the immediate past administration, would be inaugurated soon by Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He also stated that by end of this year, his administration would produce the Bayelsa homegrown rice.

“We have one of the largest cassava processing plants in Bayelsa that was started by the previous government and was almost completed. As we came in, we made it functional. That plant will be commissioned soon by the CBN Governor.”

Diri expressed his administration’s preparedness to partner with the federal government in diversifying of the economy through agriculture, noting that Bayelsa was endowed with a lot of resources other than oil and gas.

He said the state had enormous potential in fish production and if properly harnessed had the capacity of feeding not only the country but the whole of West Africa sub-region.

“Today, Nigeria is importing her fish needs rather than tapping into what she readily had available in Bayelsa and adjoining states to feed not only Nigeria but the whole of West Africa.

“We invite the federal government to partner with Bayelsa to go into areas such as fish farming. I am happy to note that the federal government has started a fish processing plant in the state, which means we would collaborate to see how we can expand that plant and eat what we grow. Hunger is a general problem. It does not consider who is APC or PDP.

“God has blessed Bayelsa and this nation with vast resources and so we are ready to work with the federal government to move our people away from hunger and poverty.”

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Shehuri, said he was in the state on a two-day official visit to inspect ongoing and completed agricultural projects executed by the federal  government towards complementing the state’s effort.

According to him, in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s policy of de-emphasising importatation of food and conserving foreign exchange, it is seeking the support of states to diversify the economy through agriculture.

Shehuri listed some of the federal government’s competed agricultural projects to include mini-water treatment plant in Sagbama, solar street lights in various communities and establishment of fish processing plants.

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