The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar has flagged-off the distribution of procured veterinary equipments, laboratory reagents and consumables to State Ministries of Agriculture, Veterinary Teaching Hospitals (VTHs) and Research Institutes to enhance effective diagnosis and efficient animal health service delivery to livestock farmers in the country.
The event which took place on Monday 23rd May, 2022 at the Veterinary Council of Nigeria, Maitama, Abuja featured distribution of Procured Veterinary Equipment, Laboratory Reagents and Consumables.
The Minister represented by the Director, Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services/ Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria (CVO), Dr. Maimuna Habib stated that part of the Ministry’s mandate is to ensure the production of safe and healthy foods of both crop and animal origins.
In his words, “ the commitment of the Federal Government is to ensure the prevention and control of animal diseases, especially the transboundary animal and zoonotic diseases such as Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), Foot and Mouth (FMD) Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR), African Swine Fever (ASF) and Newcastle Disease (NCD) for improved livestock production and productivity’’.
He informed the recipients that ” 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 FGN to complement the efforts of State Ministries of Agriculture/Livestock and the Veterinary Teaching Hospitals in research & development, epidemiology & surveillance as well as disease control’’.
Dr. Abubakar revealed 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% 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 pointed out that “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’’.
The Minister further stated that ‘’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’’.
Dr. Abubakar urged the States and Veterinary Teaching Hospitals (VTHs) ‘’to ensure that these items received are judiciously used for their purposes. This will bring about consolidation on the gains recorded in the prevention and control of livestock diseases in the country’’.
In her welcome address, the Director, Department of Veterinary and Pest Services in the Ministry, Dr. Maimuna Habib represented by the Director / CVO –Epidemiology, Dr. James Balami stated that ‘’ the ministry through the Department of Veterinary and Pest Control over the years has been supporting the States Veterinary Services and the VTHs with Veterinary Drugs and Medicare ,Cold Chain Facilities ,Consumables and Laboratory Equipment to aid in the provision of quality animal health care delivery services and training of clinical students to meet global standards and best practices’’
In his response on behalf of the beneficiaries, the Director, Veterinary Services Office, Benue State commended the Federal Government for the robust activities towards ensuring the vaccination, containment and control of livestock diseases in the country.
According to him, we have never had it so good, vaccination is ongoing at various states’.’