The Federal Government has reiterated that intrastate veterinary control posts across the country are meant for disease surveillance and not revenue generating outposts as practiced by some states in the country.
Speaking recently in Katsina, the Minister of Agriculture, Prof. Sheikh Ahmed Abdallah, said over “the years, these intrastate veterinary control posts, rather than being used for disease surveillance have become revenue generating outposts for the States in form of trade animal fees.”
The Minister said the emphasis on revenue had led to frictions and conflicts between animal transporters and State Veterinary Staff, thereby hindering effective animal diseases surveillance.
He added: “ These practices by states results in multiple taxation on trade animals across States which is unacceptable by the Federal Government. There are reports of multiple taxation on the trade animals across the state at ever increasing rates resulting in the refusal by trade animal marketers to stop at the control posts for the animal surveillance activities.”
Prof. Abdallah said the primary objective for the establishment of the veterinary control posts was for animal disease surveillance and control, but regretted that most of the states control posts lack basic infrastructure for disease surveillance.
The Minister noted that it will be in the best interest of all stakeholders if the collection of Trade Animal Fees is done at the point of loading (Originating State) and the State of final destination.
While calling on all relevant law enforcement agents to stop these multiple revenue collections, he said that Trade Animals must be accompanied with Veterinary Movement Loading Permits and Charge Fees only when no evidence of previous payment from Originating State is not available.
Prof. Abdallah also wants all revenue collectors to work in close collaboration with NAQS staff at Interstate control posts and State Veterinary/Livestock officials manning Interstate Intrastate control posts (checkpoints) to preserve the primary purpose of disease control/surveillance.
Earlier the Director of the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services, Dr. Mamman Magaji in his memo to the National Council on Agriculture said there is need to enhance animal disease surveillance of trade animals at control posts especially large and small ruminants, horses and donkeys and pigs from points of loading to points of disembarkment at livestock market in the country.
He said effective control will forestall the movement of diseased, infected or infested animals into the country and across the states intrastate and interstate veterinary control posts.
Dr. Mamman Magaji disclosed that about 1.5m cattle, 1.3m sheep and goats and 2,556 horses came into the country last year from some countries bordering the country through the nation’s international land borders mostly as trade animals.
He said checks were carried out by staff of the agency to make sure the animals were disease free, “ statistical data was also collected as well as treatment of any sick animal before they were allowed to enter the country.”
Dr. Mamman Magaji noted that such movement of trade animals from neighbouring countries into Nigeria has attendant risks of animal diseases introduction and spread.”
He said “it is obvious that for effective and enhanced animal control more attention should be paid to movement of trade animals, especially large and small ruminants, horses and donkeys as well as pigs, from the points of loading in the North through the various routes to points of disembarkment at livestock market in the south of Nigeria.”