The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has assured of its readiness to partner Lagos State government to improve the distribution of meat across the country.
Speaking during the study tour and stakeholders’ engagement to understudy the air-cool Meatvans 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 strengthen its collaboration with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to make every structure and every movement of meat from the abattoir to the market across the country a success.
The butchers have been supportive to the state government and will continue give its maximum cooperation
In her remarks the Hon. Commissioner Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture Ms. Ruth Abisola Olusanya said that “prior to the launching of Eko Meat van Project in Year 2004, Meat haulage business in Lagos State was rather disorganized, haphazard and unregulated, adding that wooden carts were used to transport Meat and Carcasses from Abattoirs and Slaughter facilities to the deboning and bulk-breaking sections.
She pointed out that four 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 Ministry 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 successful –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 Rasheed 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 of Lagos State butchers Association Mr. Alabi Bamidele Kazeem said that “the butchers have been supportive to the state government and will continue to 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. Its aims at adopting the best practices in our abattoirs nationwide and learning from the challenges that come from the initiatives in order to improve on them.
In attendance were representatives 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.