By Gabriel Olawale
The Federal government has been admonished to fulfill its pledge to compensate poultry farmers who lost their stock of birds during the avian influenza (bird flu) outbreaks of 2015-2016 in the country.
Making the call yesterday President of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, PAN, Dr. Ayoola Oduntan, said as at November 2016, out of a total 3,475,706 birds confiscated by the Association under the supervision of Ministry of Agriculture, farmers had only been compensated for 1,050,904 birds leaving an outstanding of 2, 424,802 birds.
According to Oduntan, who spoke at the opening of the 2016 Poultry Show in Abeokuta, Ogun State: “Immediately after the outbreak, the Minister of Agriculture promised that compensation would be paid for all dead and confiscated birds, but this promise has not been fulfilled.
“We are urging the government to follow international best practice, and fulfill its pledge. We are not being done a favour. Government instructed us to slaughter our birds for the greater good of the country. We would have sold those birds while they were dying or taken them to the market and contaminated the whole country with the virus, but we chose not to do that.
“Instead we called the appropriate government authorities, they came in, did the census and together we slaughtered these birds. For those famers that obeyed the law and followed international best practice, not to be compensated more than a year after the outbreak is unfair,” he said.