Most Nigeria abattoirs are not compliant with international standard ― experts
Veterinary experts have condemned the hygienic situation of most abattoirs in the country, saying they are not in compliance with international standard.
Speaking at the second induction and oath-taking ceremony of veterinary graduates of University of Ilorin on Wednesday, the executive secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, Professor Garba Sharubutu, described production of wholesome meat as one of the untapped potentials of livestock business, charged the new graduates to go into it with a view to change the present situation.
Professor Sharubutu, who delivered a keynote address, titled, “Untapped potentials in the Nigerian livestock sector: Prospects for young Vets”, said that young veterinary doctors are capable of improving value and quality in the age-long business.
Represented by a professor in the council, Mohammed Salihu, Sharubutu said that other untapped potentials in livestock business include goat breeding, fishery, swine and dog breeding, biogas production, laboratory animal production and pasture production, among others, adding that goat breeding has a better opportunity and faster economic conversion rate.
Also speaking, the Kwara state deputy governor, Mr Kayode Alabi, stressed the need for continued capacity building and strengthening of policies on dairy and animal production in the country.
Mr Alabi, who was the guest of honour at the programme, noted that human lives revolve around what we eat for survival and what enhances productivity.
The deputy governor called on veterinary doctors to play critical roles in ensuring that animals are healthy and safe for human consumption for the country to purge itself of Zoonotic diseases and other diseases like tuberculosis.
The deputy governor explained further: “Livestock industry is filled with a lot of opportunities and takes a pre-eminent place in achieving food security.
“Let me quickly say that your induction today is the beginning of your success if you take the right and quick decisions on your next move after today.
“The theme for this year’s induction, ‘Untapped potentials in the Nigerian Livestock sector: Prospects for young Vets’, is apt and germane in view of challenges in the Livestock industry in particular and agricultural sector in general. This, I believe, will lessen the fears of the young Vets and open their eyes and minds to the opportunities in the Livestock industry,” he added.
Mr Alabi said it is disheartening that Nigeria with her arable land and water cannot be self-sufficient in animal production as the nation till date import animals from neighbouring countries at high rates to meet local needs while foods of animal origin are equally being sourced from outside the country by wealthy individuals.
The deputy governor stated that Nigeria has a better advantage to explore the livestock industry, meet the protein needs of the citizenry and earn foreign exchange through export to international markets.
He added that the present administration is aware of farmer-herder conflicts across of the country noting that Kwara which is known for its peaceful and harmonious nature would embark on all-inclusive policies that will put it at vantage position for livestock business.
Mr Alabi announced that the state would soon begin the school feeding programme for pupils in public schools as Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has forwarded a bill on Kwara State Social Investment Programme to the State House of Assembly and this will not only address the menace of malnutrition, it will also boost livestock businesses in the state.
The deputy governor stressed that last year, the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) warned that Nigeria’s livestock industry may struggle under record pressure by 2050 if it remains passive to bridging its supply gaps.
He urged the Young Vets to see beyond the white-collar jobs by exploring opportunities in the livestock industry, especially with the increasing demand for livestock-based foods.
The deputy governor assured that the government of Malam Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq would give the necessary support to enable them to carry out their professional duties in the state.
“This administration is ready to collaborate with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, the University of Ilorin, the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) and relevant bodies to achieve zero transmission of diseases from animal to man,” he assured.
Mr Alabi appealed to the Veterinary Council of Nigeria to as a matter of urgency widen its monitoring mechanism to ensure that only qualified persons are into veterinary practice in Nigeria.
The Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Professor Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, charged the graduates to be exemplary in their conduct and commended the vision of the founding fathers of the faculty.
Professor Abdulkareem said that the occasion demonstrated the university’s commitment to providing world-class veterinary doctors who would go on to contribute meaningfully to the treatment of animals.
The Vice-Chancellor, who also congratulated the graduates charged them to go out and make the university and their parents proud by making a difference in the profession by protecting the lives and dignity of animals.
Admitting the new 16 graduates into the profession, the acting Registrar of the Veterinary Council of Nigeria, Dr Josiah Kantiyok, represented by Dr John Garuba, explained that the essence of the induction is to place new doctors under obligation and record their names into the register of all Medical Veterinary Practitioners in Nigeria.
Dr Kantiyok also advised the graduands to uphold the rules and regulations of the council, uphold their knowledge regularly which he said will enable them to be successful in the profession.
The Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University, Professor Suleiman Salami appreciated the founding father and the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Abdulganiy Ambali for laying a solid foundation that is producing veterinary doctors who can compete favourably with their colleagues nationally and internationally.
Professor Suleiman also appreciated the current management of the university under the leadership of Professor Sulyman Abdulkareem for providing the necessary support to the faculty and charged the new doctors to uphold good moral standard in the profession.