By Seun Adams
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has rolled out it’s meat haulage hygiene to Lagos State even as it assured of its readiness to partner the state government in order to improve the distribution of hygienic meat across the country.
Speaking during the study tour and stakeholders engagement to understudy the air-cool Meat-vans from the Abattoirs and Slaughterhouses to the various meat markets in Lagos State recently, the Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria and Director Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Dr. Maimuna Abdullahi Habbib, said:
That “The objectives of the tour was to understudy the state air-cool Meatvans, the abattoirs and the slaughterhouses.
She revealed that the ministry would facilitate the process to ensure that a policy was drafted to ensure smooth operations, enforcement and implementation of the process across the nation, pointing out that the ministry had procured 37 vehicles that would be distributed to butchers for free in order to facilitate the process across the country.”
She further stated that the ministry would strengthened it collaboration with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to ensure that every structure and every movement of meat from abattoir to the market across the country a success.
In her remarks the Commissioner Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture Ms. Ruth Olusanya said that “prior to the launching of Eko Meat van Project in 2004, meat haulage business in Lagos State was rather disorganised, haphazard and unregulated, adding that wooden carts were used to transport meat and carcasses from abattoirs and Slaughter facilities to the de-boning and bulk-breaking sections.
She pointed out that 4 Private investors and Butchers Association Group formed the executing stakeholders to run the fleet of air-cool Meatvans from the abattoirs and slaughterhouses to the various meat markets statewide, noting that the project was funded by Polaris bank in agreement with the stakeholders.
She further stated that in 2009, the state launched the Eko Refrigerated Meatvan project which was an advancement of the air-cool Eko Meatvans into refrigerated form and a total of fourteen private investors’ companies along with the State Butchers Association’s and Lagoon Butchers Ventures were successfully –screened and licensed to operate the project under a jointly-registered cooperative umbrella (Agege Meat van Multipurpose Cooperative society).
In his welcome address, the state Director of veterinary services Dr. Macaulay Molade said that “the refrigerated meat transportation project runs from 2009 till date and it is involved in the daily haulage of Meat carcasses, cattle officials, head and feet as well as other cow parts from the abattoirs/slaughter facilities to the various meat markets”.
Earlier, in his Goodwill message, the Chairman Lagos State butchers Association Mr. Alabi Kazeem, said that “the butchers have been supportive to the state government and will continue give its maximum cooperation”.
The Essence of the Visit was to understudy the model of meat haulage in the state’s abattoirs, under the umbrella company known as the EKO REFRIGERATED MEAT HAULAGE.
It aimed at adopting the best practices in our abattoirs nationwide and learn from the challenges that come from the initiatives in order to improve on them.
In attendance were Representative of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), National Agricultural Insurance Cooperation (NAIC), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and the CEO A is Farmers Market.
Mohammed A. Gana,
For: Director, Information (FMARD).