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Open Grazing Ban: Southern Governors set September 1st deadline

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The Southern Governors Forum announced yesterday that the deadline set for the Open Grazing Ban is Wednesday, 1st September 2021, adding that Funds deducted from the Federation Account for the Nigeria Police Security Trust Fund should be distributed to states to fight insecurity.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Southern Governors Forum, Chairman, Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu on Monday.

What the statement said

The forum re-affirmed its commitment to the unity of Nigeria on the pillars of equity, fairness, justice, progress and peaceful co-existence between and amongst its people.

  • The Forum reviewed the security situation in the country and commends security operatives for their relentless efforts in restoring security and safety and commiserates with families and loved ones of those who have fallen in the line of duty.
  • Re-emphasised the need for State Police and resolved that if for any reason security institutions need to undertake an operation in any State, the Chief Security Officer of the State must be duly informed.
  • The forum frowns at selective criminal administration of justice and resolved that arrests should be made within the ambit of the Law and fundamental human rights.

They added that they have set a timeline of Wednesday, 1st September 2021 for the promulgation of the anti-open grazing law in all Member States; and resolved that funds deducted from the Federation Account for the Nigeria Police Security Trust Fund should be distributed among the States and Federal Government to combat security challenges.

On the Petroleum Industry Bill

They added that they reject the proposed 3% and support the 5% share of the oil revenue to the host community as recommended by the House of Representatives.

  • The forum also rejected the proposed 30% share of profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins.
  • The forum rejected the ownership structure of the proposed Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC).
  • The Forum disagreed that the company be vested in the Federal Ministry of Finance but should be held in trust by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) since all tiers of Government have stakes in that vehicle.

What you should know

Nairametrics reported in May that the Southern Governors Forum agreed to end open grazing in the south, adding that Nigeria must be restructured to reflect true federalism leading to state police.

The governors also called for a change in the revenue allocation formula of the nation, and a review of government appointments relating to federal character, plus a national dialogue to address greater inclusiveness in existing governance arrangements.

The Presidency stated that the recent open grazing ban by southern governors is of questionable legality, citing constitutional freedom of movement rights.