By Doris Esa
The Federal Government has started the distribution of procured veterinary equipment, laboratory reagents and consumables to state Ministries of Agriculture, Veterinary Teaching Hospitals (VTHs) and Research Institutes.
A statement by Mr Ezeaja Ikemefuna, the Chief Information Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, said this at the official distribution of the veterinary equipment on Monday in Abuja.
The minister, who was represented by Dr Maimuna Habib, the Director, Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services/Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria (CVO), said this was to enhance effective diagnosis and efficient animal health service delivery to livestock farmers in the country.
Abubakar said that part of the ministry’s mandate was to ensure the production of safe and healthy foods of both crop and animal origins.
He said the commitment of the federal government was to ensure the prevention and control of animal diseases, especially the transboundary animal and zoonotic diseases, such as Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), for improved livestock production and productivity.
Abubakar told the recipients that the laboratory diagnostic and vaccination equipment, and consumables were procured through special intervention fund by the federal government.
“These laboratory diagnostic and vaccination equipment, cold chain facilities, and sample collection and packaging items you are about to receive from us were procured through special intervention fund by Federal Government of Nigeria.
“It is to complement the efforts of state Ministries of Agriculture/Livestock and the Veterinary Teaching Hospitals in research and development, epidemiology and surveillance as well as disease control,” he said.
He said further that the production of safe and healthy livestock population would consequently guarantee healthy living for the human population since it has been reported that about 75 per cent of emerging and re-emerging diseases are from animal origin.
“Such examples of these diseases are Tuberculosis, Lassa fever, Rabies, Ebola and even the COVID-19.”
He said the federal government is a signatory to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA).
“This trade agreement provides a great opportunity, particularly for investors in the agricultural sector to explore the international market at zero tariff cost.
“Huge livestock population and increased production potential provides a great deal of advantage for the livestock sub-sector to thrive considerably, thus returning Nigeria as one of the major continental players in the sub-sector,” he said.
The minister therefore urged the states and VTHs to ensure that the items received were judiciously used for their purposes.
He said the itemswould bring about consolidation on the gains recorded in the prevention and control of livestock diseases in the country.
The Director/CVO – Epidemiology, Dr James Balami, said the ministry through the Department of Veterinary Services, had over the years supported the states veterinary services to aid in the provision of quality animal healthcare delivery services and training of clinical students to meet global standards and best practices.
Balami represented the Director, Department of Veterinary and Pest Services in the ministry, Dr Maimuna Habib. (NAN)