A bill seeking to amend portions of the Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law (2017) has passed its first reading in the state’s House of Assembly.
Our correspondent reports that the executive arm of the state government wants a stiffer punishment for offenders of the law through the amendment of the bill.
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Speaker of the Assembly, Titus Uba, at the commencement of sitting on Thursday informed the house of the letter from the Attorney General, Barrister Mike Gusa, seeking the amendment to strengthen the law with a stiffer penalty for violators in order to deter others.
To this end, the Majority Leader of the House, Damian Cheme, presented the bill for deliberation on behalf of the executive while the Clerk read the bill for the first time and thereafter committed it to the Business and Ethics Committee.
The Speaker, on his part, urged members to look at the law with a view to ensure that penalty serves as a deterrent to future violators.
Uba explained that the initial penalty was now being abused by most of the herders who flagrantly violate the law on account that they can pay the fines and secure their cows with ease.