The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, on Wednesday afternoon signed into law a bill that prohibits open grazing of cattle in the state.
The bill was presented to the governor by the Attorney General of the State, Uko Udom, in the presence of the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Aniekan Bassey, during a brief signing ceremony in Government House, Uyo.
Mr Emmanuel, after assenting to the bill, said the new law is a no respecter of persons, irrespective of status.
With the signing of the bill into law, Akwa Ibom now joined Rivers, Bayelsa, Oyo, Ekiti, Abia, Lagos and Enugu as states with anti-open grazing legislation. It is the eighth state in southern Nigeria to enact the law.
The new Akwa Ibom law, which also provides for the establishment of ranches in the state, was passed Tuesday (yesterday) by the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly.
Mr Emmanuel directed relevant authorities of government to ensure the law is enforced in the state, adding culprits must be brought to book.
Southern governors in Nigeria had reached a resolution on July 5, 2021, in Lagos, for member states to enact legislation against open grazing of cattle in their states on or before September 1.
Only five states were able to meet the deadline.