FIC Report (Abia State) – The Abattoir facilities and services in Abia State required both the Federal and State Government intervention and rehabilitation efforts, Engr. Victor Ihediwa, the Abia State Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, FMARD has observed.
A visit to the slaughter house in Ubakala, Umuahia South L.G.A, of Abia State, tells the story of cow meat dealers abandoned to their fate with little or no Government presence and the meat consumers at the risk of contacting/contracting deadly diseases due to the unhealthy state of the abattoir.
Narrating their plights during a one day training/capacity building organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, FMARD in collaboration with Okeso Nigeria Ltd for abattoir workers on biosecurity and biocontainment protocols, some of the cow meat dealers who include: High Chief David Nwosu, Head of Taskforce; Mr. James Onyebuchi; Noah Uwalaka, Mr. Ugochukwu Kanu among others, decried the sorry state of the slaughter house existing without electricity, good road, zero drainage system, pipeborne water/borehole and inadequate security.
They pointed out that the slab has almost collapsed and the structures on ground urgently begging for attention, adding that if not for self-help project, the market would have been a no-go-area as the government has never contributed a dime for the uplift of the market and has performed zero in term of the cleanliness of the market, where they were made to pay heavy revenues.
Speaking during the training, Engr. Victor Ihediwa disclosed that all the information mentioned was the reason for the Training and Capacity building as a precursor to further Investment and Upgrade of the Abattoir facilities in Abia State, as the State was one of the 19 states selected for the training of Abattoir Workers.
Ihediwa reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring that consumers were provided with safe, wholesome and high quality meat and meat products through proper operational procedures, handling and storage of meat being slaughtered throughout its distribution chain which are essential for maintaining Food Safety and Quality.
Ihediwa who further disclosed the commitment of FMARD through the Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest control Services to ensuring that consumers were provided with safe and wholesome meat products, hinted that the training was specifically meant for Abattoir workers who include; the Union Executives, Butchers, Flayers, Meat Inspectors, Facility Managers, Helpers, Meat carriers and Transporters and all other Persons with the responsibility to handle live animals or slaughtered carcasses within the abattoir and the waste managers and cleaners.
He therefore urged all involved to take the exercise seriously in order to acquire enough knowledge necessary to help grow meat and meat product value chain.
Earlier while declaring the training open, the Abia State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prof. Ikechi Mgboji represented by Dr. Nwanyieze Nwokocha, Director of Veterinary Services reaffirmed the state government’s commitment towards giving the abattoir a facelift and encouraged the abattoir workers to strive to maintain a healthy environment.
Responding, the Chairman of Umuahia Butchers Association, Pastor Tobechi Oriaku lauded the FMARD for the capacity building and assured that they will play the role of the trainee-trainer, even as he
He also appreciated the resource person/trainer, Mazi Lazarus Eze for exposing them to the best practices and hygienic standard/measures to observe in the abattoir.