The federal government through the federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has demonstrated its dedication to assure enhanced transportation of meat across the country as it partners with Lagos state government. Dr Maimuna Abdullahi Habbib, Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria and Director Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services said this in his statement during the study tour and stakeholders engagement to understudy the air-cool Meat transport vans from the Abattoirs and Slaughterhouses to the various meat markets in Lagos State.
According to Habbib, the ministry would oversee and manage the process to ensure that a policy is drafted in order to ensure smooth operations, enforcement and implementation of the process across the nation. She noted that as part of the ministry’s effort, 37 vehicles has been procured that would be distributed to butchers for free in order to facilitate the process across the country. Also, Habbib said that the Ministry would strengthen its collaboration with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to ensure save and secure delivery of meat from abattoir to the market across the country.
The project is run by a total of fourteen private investors’ companies.
The Hon. Commissioner of Lagos State, Ministry of Agriculture, Ms. Ruth Abisola Olusanya remarked that meat haulage business in Lagos State was rather disorganized, haphazard and unregulated before the inception of Eko Meat van Project in Year 2004. She states that then, meat and Carcasses were transported Abattoirs and Slaughter facilities to the deboning and bulk-breaking sections using wooden carts. She pointed out that the project was financed by Polaris bank in agreement with executive stakeholders formed by four Private investors and Butchers Association Group in order to operates the fleet of air-cool Meat transport vans from the Abattoirs and Slaughterhouses to the various meat markets statewide.
Moreover, Olusanya said the ministry initiated the Eko Refrigerated Meat transport van Project In 2009 into refrigerated form and which was an advancement of the air-cool Eko Vehicles. Along with the State Butchers Association’s and Lagoon Butchers Ventures, a total of fourteen private investors’ companies were scrutinized and authorized to run the project under a jointly-registered cooperative umbrella (Agege Meat van Multipurpose Cooperative society). Conversely, the state Director of veterinary services Dr. Macaulay Rasheed Molade said on his goodwill message that the refrigerated meat transportation project runs from 2009 till date.
The visit is geared towards adopting best practices nationwide.
Molade went on to say the project is also involved in the daily haulage of meat carcasses, cattle officials, head and feet as well as other cow parts from the abattoirs to the various meat markets. Also on his part, the Chairman of Lagos State butchers Association Mr. Alabi Bamidele Kazeem reiterates on the butchers support to the state government as he assures that the association will continue on its ensure maximum cooperation with the state.
The primary aim of the visit was to stand-in and oversee the meat haulage structure in the state’s abattoirs, under the umbrella company, Eko Refrigerated Meat Haulage. It is also geared towards adopting the best practices in 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.
Unhygienic movement of meat on tricycles must be stop.
Notably, the project was enacted due to the dire need to ensure the safety and induce sanity to the handling and distribution of meat that is consumed by the public, through ethical and hygienic transportation. Likewise, the aim was to put a stop to open and unhygienic movement of meat on tricycles and motorcycles in many parts of the state, as meat that pass through such process is still largely exposed to flies and similar elements in the open markets, where they could be contaminated.