By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Lagos State Government has once again reiterated it resolve not to condone any act of unhygienic meat slaughtering in abattoirs and slaughter slabs in the state just as it read riot act to butchers at the Oko-Oba abattoir to desist from unwholesome way of meat slaughtering and transportation.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Oluwatoyin Suarau who disclosed this today at a stakeholders’ workshop organized by the Ministry of Agriculture for Oko-Oba Abattoir butchers noted that the present administration of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode is committed to ensuring that all operations in the State abattoir meets international standard.
Suarau added that the workshop is targeted at improving the skills of butchers especially at the Oko Oba abattoir stressing that the state government will not relent in making and implementing policies targeted towards giving the State abattoirs the mega city status it deserves.
He stressed that rehabilitation works as well as implementation of policy which include: removal of shanties, ban on Okada as means of transportation, use of the refrigerated meat van in meat transportation, deployment of experienced veterinary officers to abattoirs and slaughter slabs amongst others have been carried out at the Oko-oba abattoir and other abattoirs in the State.
The Commissioner added that State government will not relent in its policy implementation just as he assured that the Oko Oba abattoir and Lairage Complex will soon take a new shape.
He opined that it is necessary to monitor the whole process of meat handling right from the animal markets to abattoirs, and even transportation, saying that government has handled significantly the transportation of meat by introducing the Eko Refrigerated Meat Van which is now used to transport meat rather than the former obnoxious meat transportation system.
Suarau said that the State government organized the training for butchers in the State so as to put a permanent end to illegal slaughtering activities in abattoirs. “This is a time to correct all ills of the animal market and abattoir in general so that no butcher will have any excuse for any form of illegal practices”, he said.
The Commissioner stated further that the training has been designed in such a way that it will go a long way in developing the skills of butchers and keeping them abreast of modern day best practices in abattoir services.
He therefore urged all participant of the workshop to make good use of lessons learnt from the training adding that it will enhance their skills.
“I enjoined you all to make good use of the lesson learnt from this workshop to enhance your skills in your profession and support the state government in enhancing food security”, he said.
Suarau maintained that the commitment of the present administration towards the attainment of a standard abattoir in ensuring food security depends largely on cooperation of every resident of the state, adding that food security and hygienic environment occupies the front burner of the present administration as a way to facilitate job and wealth creation as well as reduce poverty.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya who was also present at the workshop spoke extensively on the significance of ensuring a hygienic slaughtering activities of the market and stressed the government will not relent in its efforts in upgrading and regulating the activities of all slaughter houses in the state.
Dr. Onasanya stressed further that the training is not the first of its kind as many butchers in the state has benefitted from training like this in the past. He disclosed further that stakeholders of the red meat value chain has been taken out of the country and educated on the best practices of abattoir services. He said that butchers has been sponsored to visit abattoirs in Kenya and Botswana to see working of standard abattoir
He noted that the state has a standard for what a mega city abattoir should look like, urging the butchers to give the government maximum support to achieve the essence of the training to enhance a implementation of government policies through a high level of policy compliance after the training.
The Chairman of Lagos Butchers Association, Alhaji Malomo Baki Yusuf who was at the event commended the State government for organizing the training which is a step in a right direction.
He assured that the butchers in the state are willing and ready to give maximum support to the government in its policy implementation.