President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said the development of the livestock industry in Nigeria is critical to the diversification and growth of economy.
Lawan made this known on Tuesday in his remark 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.
Lawan while ruling on objections raised amid debate on the bill by Senator Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru (APC Osun Central), 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 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.
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.
He stressed that the piece of legislation under consideration seeks to solve the challenge of animal identification and management in Nigeria.