FCT minister of state, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu inspecting the ultra modern abattoir under construction in Tungan-Maje community.
The Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat of Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has started the modernization of abattoirs across the territory in line with the best practices, DANIEL TYOKUA writes on the development.
Abattoirs in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, especially those at the outskirts are beginning to get face lift as the administration took its rebuilt mantra to a stimulating dimension.
The Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS), has commenced the upgrading of facilities at its 4 existing mini-abattoirs located in Karu,Kubwa, Gwagwalada and Abaji. The rehabilitation works are at various stages of completion.
At Tungwan-Maje in Gwagwalada Area Council, the agriculture Secretariat under the present watch of acting secretary who is also the Director Administration and Finance, Mr. Ibe Prospect Chukwuemeka, ARDS had established an ultra modern abattoir in collaboration with capital meat to offer the best services.
The present Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, ARDS, being led by Dr.Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, FCT minister of state, has improved meat inspection system within the territory, by introduction of the meat haulage policy that is still at the infant stage of implementation.
The meat haulage policy which was introduced in 2018 has equally received a boost with the collaboration with Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), in area of enforcement to ensure compliance.
Aside the enforcement, the agriculture Secretariat has engaged all stakeholders in the meat processing business, starting from butchers to transporters to solicit for their cooperation in complying with standards set with regards to meet haulage,inspection and sanitation.
In line with the desired standards, the haulage system is an idea that is conceived by the secretariat to help promote hygienic transportation of meat through appropriate means.
On the building of human capacity, there are ongoing and already completed training of animal health workers and doctors to increase the capacity of its staff in all categories.
The training is aimed at exposing medical personnel and animal owners to early detection and prevention of animal diseases, especially the case of Avian influenza that must be well tackled.
In view of the disease prevention, many health workers have been trained on the best practices particularly on disease identification and control.
During the ARDS annual briefing, Chukwuemeka told journalists that the renew commitment of the present FCT Administration was aimed at standardizing abattoir operations in the nation’s capital.
“The FCT Agric Secretariat has put in place measures to address the age-long challenges in abattoir operation by intensifying efforts in the rehabilitation and upgrading of facilities at the 4 existing mini-abattoirs located in Karu,Kubwa, Gwagwalada and Abaji. The rehabilitation works are at various stages of completion”.
With the endless struggle to make a difference in area of innovations and best services,veterinary health services is receiving serious attention through capacity development.
Recently,the Secretariat has recruited new personnel to enable efficiency and routine veterinary health outreach activities such as the free anti-rabies exercise which is in progress.
There are other sensitization activities on Avian influenza as well as the deadly Equine Virus that affects donkey and horses that the ARDS is working tirelessly on it.
Chukwuemeka explained that the veritable initiatives are being designed to redefine abattoir system to meet the acceptable standards.
He said:”Our objective is to have a coordinated approach in combating the outbreak and spread of diseases, the Secretariat have organized series of stakeholders meeting to strengthen our surveillance and reporting actives towards early detection and containment.
“We have completed the first government-owned veterinary pharmacy in Nyanya as aone stop shop for quality, drugs and other veterinary health service in the FCT”.
Beside the abattoir system, FCT-ARDS innovations for a positive sector got boosted by the restructuring of the agric Secretariat.
FCT Administration under the minister, Muhammad Musa Bello and Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, FCT minister of state approved the restructuring Agriculture Secretariat which added another Pilar to the Buhari led administrations believe in agriculture.
This restructuring has ended the aged-long one line department of agriculture that was impeding service delivery and career progression.
According to the new arrangement, the Secretariat now consists of 9 departments,department of Administration and Finance, Agriculture Services, Veterinary Services,Agric. Development project, planning Research and Statistics, Fisheries,Cooperative and Rural Development, Animal Husbandry and Forestry.
The new structure is already yielding positive results with the appointment of substantive directors which has enhanced better planning, coordination and implementation of various agricultural programmes and projects, with staff now spurred on and more committed to delivering results.
In view of the new plan targeted at achievements of the Secretariat mandate, an 8-member committee was constituted to review the programmes and activities of the Secretariat and mandated to identify the challenges and loopholes in the programmes of the Secretariat and proffer recommendations which will there after be presented to management for consideration and implementation.
Also, the Secretariat is assisting farmers to have access to farmers to affordable Agro-inputs.The FCT Administration has institutionalized a policy of annual distribution of subsidized Agro-inputs across the agricultural value chain.
The Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS), early in 2019 distributedinputs such as fertilizers, improved seedlings, water pumps, sprayers andagro-chemicals to farmers from all the 17 chiefdoms of the FCT as well as cooperative groups.
According to the ARDS’s management, all the steps taken are geared towards a reformed agric sector in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).