Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the state government has employed additional 25 veterinary doctors in the state in furtherance of the reforms embarked upon in the red meat value chain.
The governor disclosed this over the weekend at the commissioning of a new semi-mechanised abattoir in Bariga, Lagos, saying that the gesture would boost the required personnel to drive the reforms of the red meat value chain in the state.
“We have also just given the Ministry of Agriculture the necessary approval to employ additional 25 additional veterinary doctors in the state so that we can have all of the complete skills that are required for this industry.
“Not only are we doing it for ourselves, but we are also doing it for the future; for the generation that is coming behind us,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Governor Sanwo-Olu noted that the new semi-mechanised abattoir was a clear testimonial for other businesses to see and to learn from especially as it was in accordance with the state government’s ATM reform agenda in the red meat value chain where A stands for Abattoir, T for Transportation and M for Marketing.
The governor, while noting that the state consumes well over 50 per cent of the total animal production in the country, said such was the need for the safety and quality of the value chain which cannot be overemphasised.
According to him, the state government owns eleven of the 16 abattoirs in the state, urging for more private sector participation in the value chain in order to drive the state government’s roadmap in the agriculture sector as it relates to making Lagos a 21st Century economy.
The governor recalled that the story of the new semi-mechanised abattoir was that of a seeming peasantry industry that had now been transformed to an elitist one which shows the future the state government wanted for the state.
“Lagos consumes well over 50 per cent of the total animal production in the country. If we’re consuming over 1.8 million cattle and about 1.6 million sheep and goats, it means that we can indeed create a big ecosystem; a big controlled, managed, clean industry in our red meat value chain.
“We’re not just stopping at that, we’re ensuring that all of the plans that we have, all of the plans have been rolled out by the Ministry of Agriculture using a big one at Oko-Oba as an example, that we will continue to remain a place where all of us can be truly proud of,” he stated.
Earlier, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), noted that new semi-mechanised abattoir would provide no fewer than 800 direct and indirect jobs in the community, adding that with a facility like that employment would be created for butchers, veterinary doctors, cleaners, and many others.
The minister disclosed that that abattoir which was facilitated by a concessionaire, Lion Unisco was of international standard and would do well to further aid the Lagos State government’s reform of the red meat value chain.
“This is indeed a simple but profound facility and from what I’ve heard, about 800 people will directly benefit from this Abattoir.
“We have had some discussions and there will be a cold storage and value chain meat processing machine coming in, because hopefully you will begin to see sausages, hamburgers and all of that as the next phase of investment.
“This is an SME and it will expand. These are really what drive societies all over the world, small-medium family businesses.
“It is important because if every member of the community has small businesses and begins to employ one person each, the problem of unemployment in the country will become something of the past,” Fashola said.
According to the minister, facilities such as the semi-mechanized abattoir in Ilaje, Bariga would not only drive businesses into the area, but would also improve the standard of living of the residents as well as bring infrastructural development in the area.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, disclosed that the semi-mechanised abattoir would be able to slaughter 100 to 150 cattle per day and about 80 to 120 sheep and goats as well.
She argued that population explosion had called for establishment of more abattoirs beside the largest abattoir in the state at Oko-Oba to cater for the red meat needs of the teeming population.
“Lagos is the largest market for cattle in Sub Saharan Africa. We receive over 1.8 million herds of cattle and over 1.9 to 2 million herds of sheep and goats on an annual basis.
“What this translates into is that Lagos being the market for such a large group or for such a large sector, Lagos has to make reforms possible such that we have private sector investment in this space.
“Which is why the Lagos State Ministry under the leadership of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu partnered with the likes of Alhaji Olayiwola Niniola to ensure that we start to have semi and fully mechanised abattoirs in the state,” Olusanya stated.