By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Government has read riot act to butchers at the Oko-Oba abattoir and other operators to desist from unwholesome way of meat slaughtering and transportation.
The government, however, reiterated resolve not to condone any act of unhygienic meat slaughtering in abattoirs and slaughter slabs as well as operation of illegal abattoirs in the state.
State’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Oluwatoyin Suarau who gave the warning at a stakeholders’ workshop, organized by the ministry for Oko-Oba Abattoir butchers, noted that the present administration of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode was committed to ensuring that all operations in the state abattoir meets international standard.
Suarau added that the workshop targeted at improving the skills of butchers especially at the Oko Oba abattoir, stressing that the state government would not relent in making and implementing policies targeted towards giving the state abattoirs the mega city status it deserves.
He stressed that rehabilitation works as well as implementation of policy which include: removal of shanties, ban on Okada as means of transportation, use of the refrigerated meat van in meat transportation, deployment of experienced veterinary officers to abattoirs and slaughter slabs among others had been carried out at the Oko-oba abattoir and other abattoirs in the state.
“It is necessary to monitor the whole process of meat handling right from the animal markets to abattoirs, and even transportation. Government has handled significantly the transportation of meat by introducing the Eko Refrigerated Meat Van which is now used to transport meat rather than the former obnoxious meat transportation system.
“This is a time to correct all ills of the animal market and abattoir in general so that no butcher will have any excuse for any form of illegal practices”, he said.
The commissioner stated further that the training had been designed in such a way that it would go a long way in developing the skills of butchers and keeping them abreast of modern day best practices in abattoir services.
He therefore, urged all participants to make good use of lessons learnt from the training adding that it would enhance their skills.
“I enjoined you all to make good use of the lesson learnt from this workshop to enhance your skills in your profession and support the state government in enhancing food security”, he said.
Suarau maintained that the commitment of the present administration towards the attainment of a standard abattoir in ensuring food security depended largely on cooperation of every resident of the state, adding that food security and hygienic environment occupies the front burner of the present administration as a way to facilitate job and wealth creation as well as reduce poverty.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya who was also present at the workshop spoke extensively on the significance of ensuring a hygienic slaughtering activities of the market stressed that the training was not the first of its kind as many butchers in the state had benefitted from such training in the past.
The Chairman of Lagos Butchers Association, Alhaji Malomo Yusuf who was at the event commended the State government for organizing the training which he described as a step in a right direction.
He assured that the butchers in the state were willing and ready to give maximum support to the government in its policy implementation.