•As bill to establish National Livestock Bureau scales second reading in Senate
By Musa Adamu
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the development of the livestock industry in Nigeria is critical to the diversification and growth of the economy.
Lawan made this known on Tuesday in his remarks after a bill for an Act to establish the National Livestock Identification and Management Bureau scaled second reading on the floor.
According to Lawan, the livestock industry in Nigeria, if properly harnessed and regulated, has the potential of generating trillions of naira needed to stimulate the economy along the trajectory of exponential growth.
The Senate President, while delivering his ruling on objections raised amid debate on the bill by Senator Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, which questioned the competence of the National Assembly to legislate on the livestock industry, argued to the contrary that the apex legislative body was acting within its legislative jurisdiction to seek the establishment of the National Livestock Identification and Management Bureau.
He said: “This is an industry of between N5 to N10 trillion naira in this country. [And] any government or parliament will try to do anything possible to ensure that such an industry is protected and promoted to ensure that people earn their livelihood and have a food reserve of sort from that industry.
“I believe that in this Senate, we even had a resolution or intervention that was based on the Doctrine of necessity, because there was need for the National Assembly to intervene even when it was clear that there was no provision for such a situation.
“Sitting here, I believe that we will be doing this country good, we will be doing justice and a great deal of service to our people that we legislate on this.
“The identification is just one side of it, but the protection and management of this sector of our economy that is so huge and massive is critical to our economy.
Earlier, sponsor of the Bill for an Act to Establish the National Livestock Identification and Management Bureau, Senator Muhammad Enagi Bima (APC, Niger South) said the livestock sub-sector is an integral part of agriculture and vital to the socio-economic development of the country, though its productivity currently is very low.