The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) says it is taking significant steps to resuscitate the registration of livestock in Nigeria, as well as those flocking from neighbouring countries.
According to the Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, the ministry is keen on reviewing its policies on the movement of cattle, sheep, and goats.
This is coming a month after the Minister notified directors of agriculture ministries nationwide to commence the documentation of all agricultural assets.
Revealing this at the inauguration of the governing board of the Nigerian Veterinary Council, previously disbanded half-decade ago, Nanono added that with the aid of technologies, the plan to revive the livestock registration scheme will take full course.
He said, “As a ministry, we are taking steps to reintroduce the registrations of cattle and sheep coming into the country. It used to be done 50 – 60 years ago and we can even track their movement across the country.
“But now with all the technologies that we have, the system has collapsed but we must do something about it.”
With this move, Nanono assured that the ministry was embarking on a radical transformation of the sector, citing that the livestock sub-sector will play a pivotal part in bolstering the economy of the country.
“Our dream is big to turn Nigeria into a global powerhouse in food production and food security across the various value chains in accordance with the mandate/vision of the Green Alternative policy and the Livestock Transformation Agenda of the present administration.
“Over the last five years, we have noticed the increasing prevalence of animal diseases that have affected our livestock stock. I hope we are able to overcome this.
The Minister pointed to the Foot and Mouth Disease as an endemic that has continued to hamper the growth of the livestock sub-sector in the country.
While charging veterinarians to be more responsive in tackling the disease, he said the transition of cattle from the North to the South during the period of February, March, and October usually sprout the disease.
“This is a very serious problem and I think we need to be more up doing to limit the damage of our livestock. More importantly, we need to be more responsive in response time during the outbreak of diseases. It’s being extremely slow and I think we must correct that.”
“We are in the process of presenting our case to the Federal Executive Council for funding to control pest and animal diseases across the country,” Nanono said, assuring that the ministry would swing into action to ensure the disease is contained.
He further called on the council to tackle adulteration of veterinary products, as he has been a victim of the ugly trend, loosing about eleven bulls in thirty minutes.
“We are facing a serious problem of adulteration of our product and that is why you must play a serious role,” Nanono added.