The Oyo State government has allayed the fears of butchers in Ibadan on the relocation directive to the new central abattoir at Amosun Village in Akinyele local government area of the state.
The executive secretary of Oyo State Bureau of Investment Promotions, Mr Yinka Fatoki, said in a statement yesterday in Ibadan that adequate security and transportation system were already in place to sustain operations at the abattoir.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some butchers had refused to relocate to the abattoir which officially commenced operation on June 4.
Fatoki explained that the decision to relocate to the new central abattoir was reached after series of consultative meetings and deliberations.
He said the meetings and deliberations had led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the government and the National Butchers Union of Nigeria (NUBN).
Fatoki noted that Gov. Abiola Ajimobi had addressed issues raised before the signing of the MoU, saying the petition written by a few members of the union on insecurity was uncalled for.
“Government was surprised by the actions of a few disgruntled and recalcitrant members of the butchers union to government’s directives to relocate to the central abattoir after the series of meetings with the governor.
“Government will not be deterred with the fabricated security challenges to reverse its decision,” he said.
He said that the interest of the general public superseded that of a few members of the union, stressing that the decision to relocate them was hinged on sanitary and health considerations of the people.
Fatoki disclosed that the State Ministry of Agriculture had unlicensed all slabs and abattoirs in Ibadan since 2014 on account of unsanitary circumstances of such outlets at Bodija, Aleshinloye and Gege area.
“It was on this premise that the state government met several times with the butchers and the chairmen of the 11 Local Government Areas in Ibadanland to discuss the relocation to central abattoir and address issues raised.
“After the discussions, all parties agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that butchers in 11 LGAs of Ibadan should relocate to the central abattoir on June 4.
“Majority of the butchers had relocated amid fun fare and a prayer session was held to commemorate the commencement of operations at the central abattoir,” he said.
He stated that butchers represented by the South West Coordinator of NUBN lauded the state government for the relocation.
Fatoki said the butchers had at the event described it as a welcome development, saying the facility was the best in Nigeria and Africa.
“The present administration, being a responsible and responsive one, owes it a duty to protect its citizens against infection and diseases that can arise from unhygienic handling of meat.
“Hence, the steps to centralise abattoir operations by relocating them to the central abattoir with state of the art facilities that would be coordinated by professional veterinary officers to ensure that hygienic meat is produced for people’s consumption,’’ he said.
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