The government says it is scaling up the skills of veterinary doctors and officers in the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in the area of effective meat inspection at the abattoirs, culminating in a 10-day training on Advanced Diploma for Proficiency in meat inspection.
Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal flagged off the 10-day training for 25 veterinary officers on Tuesday at the Lagos State Agricultural Centre, Johnson Agiri in Agege, Lagos, southwest Nigeria.
The training was carried out in collaboration with PWG Consultancy, United KingdowmSpeaking, Lawal said the government is bent on repositioning the state’s abattoirs for wholesome meat supply.
He explained that after leading stakeholders in red meat supply on a tour of abattoirs in Kenya and Botswana, he discovered that the orientation of government had changed as modernised meat distribution system operated in those countries.
“People in Kenya and Botswana process and export wholesome animals outside their countries. When we came back from the tour we agreed that a reform must take place in Lagos to make us get to the level of Kenya and Botswana as a mega city.
“Also, when I visited South Africa, I discovered that the abattoir there is about 98 years old and when I came back, we resolved that never again will we slaughter animals on the ground. We needed to upscale the skills of our inspection officers to carry out the work effectively, which informed this 10-day training,” he said.
Lawal added that 25 veterinary officers were being trained to later retrain others on train-the-trainer basis, saying that this team should be able to impart the knowledge acquired from training to others.
“We resolved to improve on the training of our veterinary officers to enhance their regulatory capacity. We, as a matter of urgency, believe that Lagosians should have the benefits of getting wholesome meat supply, even though we have been ensuring this. We also have new mechanised abattoirs being built across the state,” he stated.
Managing Director, PWG Consultancy, Katie Okafor lamented that abattoirs in Nigeria were being run in crude manner with unhygienic meat supply being the order of the day.
She challenged the trainees to be ready to take action to change things in order to perpetually curb unwholesome meat supply in the red meat industry.
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