Benue amends anti-open grazing law, imposes stiffer penalties for offenders

John Charles, Makurdi

Benue State Government has reviewed the Anti-open Grazing, Ranching and Prohibition Law 2017.

The amended law has provided stiffer penalties for offenders.

Governor Samuel Ortom who signed the amended law on Thursday said that there was a lacuna in the law that needed to be addressed.

He also said that the amendment of the law was done to meet the dynamics of the times, adding that other states which embraced the law after Benue State had imposed stiffer penalties.

“We thought the bandits will respect the law of the land. We gave a moderate charge of N2,000 for any cattle impounded. A cow is sold for over N200,000. We discovered that the charges for other states are as high as N70,000 because the policy is dynamic.


“We have decided to reverse the charges for cows impounded in Benue State. Henceforth, if any cow is impounded, the owner will pay the sum of N50,000 instead of N2,000.

An additional N20,000 will be paid on a daily basis and if the cows are not taken away from the quarantine centre after seven days, they will be auctioned. All these we are doing to tell anyone involved in open grazing that it is wrong,” Ortom said.

He, however, commended the National Assembly for deleting the clauses in the Amended Electoral Act that make for direct, indirect or consensus candidates for political parties and urged the President not to waste time in assenting to the bill.