Confab Defers Decision On Removal Of Land Use Act

In the spirit of reaching all decisions through consensus, the leadership of the national conference has set machinery in motion to ensure that the decision on the removal of the Land Use Act is reached by consensus.After extensive debates for and against the removal of the Land Use Act, the Vice Chairman, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, put the question to a voice vote. Considering that the result of the voice votes was not enough to be considered a consensus, the chairman asked for further consultation on the issue.
The Committee on Land Tenure Matters and National Boundaries in the report laid before the conference recommends that the Land Use Act should be expunged from the constitution and replaced with new provisions that would guarantee the right of Nigerians to have access to land irrespective of ethnic origin.
The committee identified the poor implementation of the Land Use ACT as an issue.
The committee’s recommendations touched on the following thematic issues: Provision of Minerals and Mining Act in Legislations, the Land Use Act, the Rights of Land Owners, Establishment of National Land Commission Adjustment of Internal and International Boundaries etc.
During debate on the recommendation of the report, Monsignor Obiora Ike argues that the putting of land in the hands of government in the name of the Land Use Decree has to be removed. He said the committee should explain why they want to remove the Land Use Act and use the National Land Commission to still establish the same thing. He stressed that the National Land Commission should not contradict the Land Use Act they intend to remove.
According to Sen. Abangana, the land tenure issue is so important, but the recommendations were not far reaching enough. He says that some of the recommendations are contradictory and therefore suggest that land tenure should be put on the concurrent list which will allow states to have a say on the issue of land.
Barr. Godswill Iyoha Iyoke observes that as good as the report is, he does not think it answers to the questions that arise in terms of compensation. He stresses that one cannot compensate anyone adequately when such person sees land as an inheritance.
Dr. Maryam C Abdullah and Prof. Rukayatu question the rationale behind the removal of the Land Use Act.
Senator Ibrahim Idah says the Act should be retained. He said despite the Land Use Act that is in the constitution, individuals are still land owners. He said the concept of land ownership has not been destroyed, but modified by the Land Use Act. He stressed that to remove the act from the constitution will require a vigorous process and will not be in the interest of Nigerians.
Chief Godwin Uwezurike remarks that the issue of the National Boundary Commission should be a state matter. “The state boundary commission should be statutory, so that it will not be misused by those who come into the office,” he argues.
Conference Reaches Consensus on Funding for Grazing Reserves for Herdsmen
Delegates of the National Conference, on Thursday, have reached a consensus over the establishment and funding of grazing reserves for herdsmen. On Wednesday, the issue almost degenerated into a north and south confrontation before the issue was set aside for further consultation.
The Committee on Citizenship, Immigration and Related matters had suggested that the grazing reserves should be established and funded by the state government where the herdsmen settle down. However, the recommendation brought heated and passionate arguments with some suggesting that the funding should be done by the state of origins of the settlers.
As a result of the contentious argument, the chairman of the conference, Justice Idris Kutigi, stands down the debate for consultation which resulted in the amended motion which was presented to the conference on Thursday.
Among those that sponsored the motions are: Barrister Festus Okoye (who read the motion) Jaiye Gaskiya, Femi Falana, Dr. Abiola Akiode, Eze Nwangwu , Rev. Nimo Bassey, Naseer Kura, Dr. Isaac Osoata, Dudu Maluga, Abdul Amin, Bisi Olateru Olagbegi.
In essence, conference agrees that an integrated and modernisation livelihood program be designed and implemented to address the issue of settling nomadic herdsmen into settled communities based on established cattle ranches with development technologies and including abattoirs and processors and other businesses and livestock value chain.
Also that this integrated and modernisation program should be funded by both federal government and state government where such settlements are allowed and established.
And lastly that this integrated development program should be undertaken and wrapped up within a period of five to ten years after which such settlement should have been self-sustaining with the full integration of the herdsmen community into modern Nigerian political economy.
Here is the amended motion as read by Barrister Okoye:
Whereas arising from the discussion and consideration of the reports on Citizenship and Immigration, a contentious issue arose with respect to the following:
1. The establishments of grazing reserves and ranches for nomadic herdsmen.
2. The responsibility for the, cattle ranches, modern development technology etc.
Whereas the motion on this outstanding issues is the only outstanding recommendation of the committee to be concluded on by plenary.
Whereas in accordance with the rules of proceedings of conference, the contentious issue was stepped down in order to allow for consultations towards reaching a consensus.
Realising therefore the necessity to build on the innovative and transformative recommendations of citizenship and residency rights already adopted by this conference; recognising the utmost importance of ensuring that no segment of the Nigerian society and no Nigerian citizen is excluded from enjoying all the guaranteed human rights as well as access to basic services and social infrastructure that will make life more meaningful and more enhanced.
And in furtherance of the urgent necessity of modernising pastoralist livelihoods and creating the enabling environment to reduce and prevent conflict arising from the encroachment of herdsmen into farmlands and antagonist competition between herdsmen and sedentary farming communities.
We urge this conference to resolve as follows:
1. That an integrated and modernisation livelihood program be designed and implemented to address the issue of settling nomadic herdsmen into settled communities based on established cattle ranches with development technologies and including abattoirs and processors and other businesses and other livestock value chain.
2. That this integrated and modernisation program should be funded by both federal government and state government in state where such settlements are allowed and established.
3. And that this integrated development program should be undertaken and wrapped up within a period of five to ten years after which such settlement should have been self-sustaining with the full integration of the herdsmen community into modern Nigerian political economy.
After the motion was read, Chief Dan Iwanyanwu seconds the motion. The motion was accepted by all the delegates through a voice votes.
The motion was therefore incorporated into the report of the committee on Citizenship, immigration and related matters (as amended) and adopted.

#Anticipate – Law Gots Talent

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