By Stanley Onyekwere
As part of measures to ensure wholesome meat consumption in the FCT, the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) of FCT Administration has unveiled a committee on Meat Haulage in the Territory.
This, according to the ARDS Secretary, Nzekwe Stanley Ifeanyichukwu is not only to ensure the public health safety of FCT residents but to set standards in meat haulage system in the FCT, in line with global acceptable standards.
A statement by Assistant Director, Information at the Secretariat, Zakari Aliyu, revealed that the committee which consists of all the relevant stakeholders, especially the Butchers Association in FCT will help the Administration in putting in place an efficient and wholesome meat haulage system in the Territory.
Nzekwe, who inaugurated the members of the committee in his office described as embarrassing and unacceptable the situation where butchers transport meat on motorbikes and open rickety vehicles in the FCT exposing the meat to contamination.
According to him, “the mode of meat haulage in Abuja will be through dedicated meat vans and special purpose-made tricycles with meat haulage compartment.
“Abuja as you know is the pride of every Nigerian and so it is only imperative whatever we are doing conforms with global acceptable standards. Besides you will agree with me that the situation as it is now exposes residents whom we have sworn to protect to health hazards.”
He however charged members of the committee, who are drawn from the Agric Secretariat of the FCT, the Area councils and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and natural resources to immediately begin work in order to come up with a design that will not only be affordable but also one that takes into account the hygienic operations.
Earlier in her remarks, the Head of the Veterinary Services Division of the Secretariat Dr. Mrs Regina Adulugba informed the Secretary of the previous attempt in past to address the situation.