Thursday, August 11, 2022

FG To Support Northeast Livestock Subsector With Free Vaccines

The Gombe State governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Yahaya.
The Gombe State governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Yahaya.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar has assured that the ministry, through its department of veterinary and pest control services, would support Gombe State and other states in northeastern Nigeria with 2 million free vaccines to tackle the contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), foot and mouth disease (FMD), peste des petits ruminants (PPR), Newcastle disease (ND), among others. 

The minister made this known during the flag-off of the 2022 Nationwide Free Mass Vaccination Campaign Against Transboundary Animal Diseases in Dadinkowa, Yamaltu Deba local government area of Gombe, recently.

Represented by the director, federal department of veterinary and pest control and Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria, Dr. Maimuna Habib, the minister stated that livestock production was a major means of livelihood in Nigeria which employs about 70 per cent of the nation’s population, provides food nutrition and livelihood for majority of the nation’s rural dwellers. “The ministry has policies and national programme for the control of these diseases. While it is the policy for routine vaccination for all diseases, it is our policy as a country not to vaccinate against the highly pathogenic avian influenza, also known as ‘bird flu’. 

“Over the years, the policy of CBPP, FMD, PPR and ND control in Nigeria has been routine annual vaccination; However, the vaccination coverage has been limited by inadequate resources. Going forward, we intend to scale up vaccination coverage as more resources become available.

“Nigeria’s livestock population is put at 22,378,374 Cattle; 53,061,143 Sheep; 99,879,799 goats; 9,299,563 pigs and over 425,790,456 poultry, spread across the six geopolitical zones of the country, kept by the majority of Nigerians, especially in rural and semi-rural settings. Noting that the full potentials of these animals and the attendant socio-economic benefits they provide cannot be guaranteed unless they are in a state of good health which can only be achieved through vaccination against diseases like CBPP and FMD in cattle; PPR in sheep and goats, and NCD in chickens.”

The minister urged development partners and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to key into this initiative by supporting the states with more vaccines and the logistics that are needed to carry out the mass vaccination in the country and collaboration with Nigeria’s neighbours Chad, Cameroon and Niger.

 A statement by the ministry’s director of information, signed by Mohammed Abdullahi Gana, said Abubakar appealed that “the exercise should be taken as a call to national service, to give it the best attention it deserves and, ultimately, all of us shall be part of making history as Nigeria joins other nations of the world to control and eradicate these dreaded diseases of cattle, poultry, sheep and goat from our national herd.”

In his remarks, the Gombe State governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Yahaya said it was the third time the exercise would be carried out under his administration and commended the ministry for its tireless efforts and commitment to ensuring the control of these animal diseases. 

Earlier, in his welcome address, the state commissioner for agriculture and animal husbandry, Hon. Muhammad Magaji said: “This is the first time that zonal vaccination of animals is being carried out and I am very happy and delighted that Gombe State has been chosen as the flag-off point in the northeast’’.

In his remarks, the chairman Miytti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Gombe State chapter, Mallam Madibbo Yahaya thanked the Federal Government for the programme which was geared towards achieving an increase in food production, generating more revenue for farmers and sustaining diversification in the agricultural sector.

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