THE Lagos State Government, in its bid to maintain best practices in red meat value chain has demolished all illegal structures and shanties in and around the Oko-Oba Abattoir and Lairage Complex, Agege in fulfillment of its promise to restructure the complex for improved operations and develop the red meat value chain.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Oluwatoyin Suarau who led a team of officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and men of the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit on the dislodgement and demolition exercise explained that the exercise which was part of the on-going rehabilitation of the complex is geared towards the reformation of the entire red meat value chains system and ensure that the processing of meat is done in a safe and healthy environment.
“These illegal structures and shanties aside being a blot on the landscape of the complex and harbouring miscreants are contributing to the growing concern of health, environment and safety issues in and around the complex,” Suarau stated.
While stressing that the State Government is not planning to chase away anybody from the complex as being rumoured by some butchers and cow merchants, the Commissioner said that the Government will not relent in its effort to improve the hygienic condition of the complex.
“I want us all to see this administrations initiatives as a way of sanitizing and ensuring hygiene in the Red Meat Value Chain, we should not see this project as a government instrument to disrupt business activities at the complex,” he hinted.
Suarau, who vowed that the State government will not condone any act of illegality and harmful health practices at the Oko-Oba abattoir or any of the abattoirs in the State, said that a Monitoring, Enforcement and Compliance Unit on Abattoirs and Slaughter Slabs have been established to ensure that products from abattoirs and slaughter slabs in Lagos meet the global quality, safety and compliance requirements.
“The need to introduce forceful intervention to bring about healthy change in abattoir operations was what informed setting up of the Unit and the responsibilities of the Unit include monitoring of abattoirs and slaughter slabs in the State for improved operation.”
Reiterating the commitment of the State government to restructure the Oko-oba abattoir, improve operations at the complex and develop the red meat value chain, Suarau posited that government is poised to re-back the mechanized slaughtering of animals in the complex and other abattoirs.
According to him, the rehabilitation work will also involve installation of facilities for waste conversion known as bio gas plant; construction of transit camp; provision of general cleaning services; construction of stripe processing facility and rehabilitation and maintenance of waste recycling plant.
The Commissioner noted that some of the rehabilitation work that has been carried out in the complex include perimeter fencing of the complex; removal of heap of solid waste and beautification of the entrance.
“Government embarked on the rehabilitation of facilities at the abattoir to ensure that operations at the complex meets international standard; the complex is fenced completely to ensure access control, free the place from miscreant, ensure security of business and provide hygienic environment for meat processing,” Suarau explained.
He added that after the rehabilitation works, a general cleaning service unit will be established which will be responsible for general and day to day removal of all kinds of waste generated in the whole abattoir complex, this according to him will help solve the problem of accumulated wastes resulting into heaps.
The Commissioner also disclosed that State Government would not condone any act of uncleanliness and lawlessness in the red meat value chain business adding all aspect of the meat supply chain would be scrutinized especially in the area of sanitation of slaughtering facilities, meat handling and movement.
Re-affirming the commitment of the state government to bring development into the red meat value chain, the Commissioner said that there is a growing recognition that the planned reforms is desirable to meet the State’s mega city status where the best practices of meat handling, environmental and facility hygiene is adopted to meet the international acceptable standard.
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