The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) on Thursday, said that it targeted to complete the ongoing construction of its abattoir in Giri, Gwagwalada Area Council, in July.
The NANTS President, Dr Ken Ukoha, said this when the Federal Capital Territory Administration inspected the project.
Ukoha said that the speedy construction of the abattoir is critical in addressing ills and obsolete practices in slaughtering and processing of meat in the FCT.
It would be recalled that NANTS, in collaboration with the West African Institute for Trade and Agricultural Development (WAITAD), started the construction of a Word-Class small-scale Abattoir in Gwagwalada in 2021.
The project is tagged “Innovative Investment in Livestock and Meat Value Chain Development and Trade”.
It is supported by ECOWAS and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation with the Gwagwalada Area Council and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as collaborators.
According to Ukoha, livestock and meat sector along the West African corridor, particularly the marketing sub-sector, is bedeviled with challenges, ranging from archaic slaughter infrastructure, outdated processing facility, and unhygienic handling and environment.
He listed others as weak distribution networks, inability to compete with imports, and weak capacity to attract investments and mobilize youth employment among others.
The NANTS President added that the project would be remodeled to increase professionalism and profitability through the establishment of improved meat processing facilities, environmental hygienic standards, and effective regulatory measures.
According to him, this is going to be a one stop shop that would mobilise investments and attract employment generation targeted at youths through the livestock and meat value chain.
He highlighted other activities of the center to include installation of a support facility for packaging and setting up of waste digestion, biogas collection infrastructure, a veterinary section and ICT-driven market linkage.
“In what we have now, there is going to be some restructuring and in that restructuring we are going to invite traders who sell condiments that go with meat so that it will be a one-stop-shop.
“Work has really progressed beyond our expectation in the sense that we have gotten to the roof level.
“As it is now, government has seen that there is goodwill and progress on our part and the vision should be supported and that is what you are seeing today,’’ Ukoha said.
In her remark, Dr Regina Adulugba, Director of Veterinary Services of the FCT, lauded the project which she described as befitting and modern.
While expressing delight over the progress made so far, she highlighted the economic importance of the project to the FCT.
Adulugba said that the project would provide more jobs for the youth and support in promoting hygienic meat.
“Health is wealth, people are sure to get good meat from here and they are providing bios gas and from that you can also get organic fertilizer,’’ she said.
She pledged that the FCTA would continue to provide technical assistance to the project with a view to ensuring it meets its objectives.
“And when it is done, we will send our veterinary doctors to inspect the meat.
“So the economic benefit is enormous, it is a welcome development and I am excited about it,’’ Adulugba said.
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