Aliyu Identifies Livestock Sector As Major Revenue Earner
By: Freda Aideyan
FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani-Aliyu, has posited that with the right structures in place, the livestock sector has the capacity to become Nigeria’s second leading revenue earner.
The Minister stated this during the flag-off of vaccination campaign against trans boundary Animal Diseases in North Central Zone of Nigeria, organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Aliyu, who was represented by the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, also noted that the livestock has enormous economic value as an avenue for wealth and job creation for thousands of Nigerians.
She, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his foresight in approving the nationwide vaccination exercise; noting that it was a well thought out initiative that would give a further push in efforts to diversify the Nigerian economy, enhance sustainable development and guarantee food security.
The Minister used the occasion to reveal that in the FCT with rapidly growing livestock population, the major challenge has been the outbreak and spread of animal diseases, exacerbated by age-long nomadic livestock practices as well as increasing trans-boundary/migration of livestock without any form of control.
His words: “This situation has made it difficult for farmers to access quality animal health care, resulting to the loss of up to 40 –50 percent of animal stock by farmers, thereby; increasing the risks of transmission.”
While commending the Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development (FMARD), Nigeria Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) and other critical stakeholders for their relentless fight over the years against the outbreak and spread of animal diseases, she, however, stated that the donation of 47,000 doses of vaccines by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has further strengthened the capacity to combat animal diseases in the FCT.
Aliyu, therefore, reiterated the determination of the FCT Administration towards repositioning the livestock sector; stressing that the Administration has currently developed a 10-year Livestock Development Plan (2022-2032) to provide the necessary framework for implementation of developmental programmes for the sector in the Territory.
The Minister, therefore, called on livestock farmers in the north central zone to cooperate with the veterinary health officials, who would be deployed to the field to carry out this exercise, just as she assured that the Administration would on its part, put every measure in place to ensure that no part of the FCT is left out in the exercise.
Earlier, the Mandate Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mallam Abubakar Ibrahim, noted that animal vaccination has been the safest and most effective means to prevent the outbreak and spread of animal diseases.
Ibrahim commended the FCT Minister of State for her continued support for the livestock sector in the territory; adding that her approval for the convening of monthly clinical interaction by veterinary health practitioners, the upgrade of veterinary clinics as well as the institution of a community engagement initiative to identify and resolve all the contentions issues between the host communities and farmers in the grazing reserves are yielding fruitful results.
He expressed optimism that as more and more farmers settle at the reserves, trans boundary movement of livestock would be reduced with farmers having enhanced access to quality animal healthcare for their animals.
Others who spoke at the event include the Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria, Dr. Maimuma Abdullahi Habib, Leader of Miyett-Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Sheep and Goat Farmers Association amongst others.