By Daniel Tyokua
The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, has met with officials of Area Councils to enhance services in abattoir operations across the territory.
Mr. Ibe Chukwuemeka, the acting secretary Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat who led the officials from the Veterinary Services Department, said the meeting was to improve sanity in meat haulage system.
Ibe who was represented by the Director, Veterinary Services in the Secretariat, Dr. Mrs. Regina Adulugba informed the Area Council officials that the visit became imperative following the concern raised by the Minister of State, FCT Dr. RamatuTtijjani Aliyu on the deplorable state of facilities and services at various slaughter slabs across the FCT.
She told the Chairmen that the FCT Administration envisions a proper and modern abattoir and meat haulage system befitting the status of the nation’s Capital.
Adulugba reminded them of the provisions in relevant statutes which puts direct operations of slaughter slabs under the purview of Area Councils with the Agric.
She stressed the need for the Area Council authorities to take the matter seriously as new findings have indicated the likelihood of human to animal transmission of Covid 19.
In her words “As you are aware, the whole world is grappling with the devastating effect of the Covid 19 pandemic and we cannot afford to further expose our people to risks of transmission. We have to start making changes to ensure that we upgrade our facilities with focus on enforcement of hygienic practices”
While restating the readiness of the Secretariat to work with the Area Councils towards achieving the desired result, the Director urged them to take advantage of the expertise in the FCT Veterinary Services Department to ensure that the aspects of meat inspection disease reporting and control are effectively handled.
She disclosed that the Secretariat has engaged a Meat Haulage Company to ensure that hygienic transportation of meat from slaughter facilities to market points. Dr. Adulugba also cautioned them on the health risks associated with the use of tyres to roast slaughtered animals, urging them to encourage butchers to make use of gas blowers.
In their various responses the Chairmen welcomed the initiative by the FCT Administration assuring the delegation that the Area Councils will do everything within their means to adhere to standard practices in abattoir operations. They agreed that the slaughter slabs hold great potentials of job creation through its value chain.
Highlights of the visit was the presentation of report conducted by a fact-finding team from the Agricultural Secretariat on the state of Area Council slaughter slabs to the Chairmen.