The Nigerian Army on Sunday inaugurated a semi-automated Abattoir at its Mami Market, Ashanti Barracks, Apapa in Lagos.
Brig.-Gen. Erema Akerejola, the outgoing Commandant, Supply and Transport Unit, Apapa, who inaugurated the market, said that the project was with the collaboration of a private investor.
According to Akerejola, the provision of a modern Abattoir at the barracks was his major achievement as the Unit’s Commandant.
“Nothing can be compared to processing the meat we eat in a clean and hygienic environment.
“I am humbled and honoured for this project to be undertaken and completed during my tenure in this unit.
“I know that meat produced in this facility will enrich the citizenry and also compare very well with international best practices.
“Beef consumers in and outside Lagos are assured of the health and safety of the meat they will be consuming,’’ he said.
Mr Aminu Gwadabe, the General Manager of Ashanti Barracks Modern Abattoir Operators, said that the investors’ dream was to scale up beef production to the level that would bring in foreign exchange.
“The vision of the operators is to provide the public with the safest beef possible, processed in the most hygienic environment that will compete favourably with international best practices.
“We will drive this through technology and public enlightenment on the importance of the consumption of a healthy meat that is free from bacterial contamination.
“At full operation, the abattoir has the capacity to employ over 3,000 workers,’’ he said.
Gwadabe said that the management of the abattoir had made arrangement for the processing of the by products like carcasses, offal, horns, animal skins and blood from the abattoir.
He said that it had made arrangements also with the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) for the evacuation of animal dung and other wastes produced at the abattoir
One of the investors, Mr Gbadamosi Mohammed, said that meat would be exported from the abattoir to other countries.
Mohammed said that the abattoir would satisfy local consumption before embarking on beef export.
He said that the investors had plans to establish a cattle market where cattle from all parts of the country would be kept before being sold for slaughter.
A chieftain of Lagos State Butchers Association, Mr Audu Lawal, said the modern abattoir would further boost processing of slaughtered meat in Lagos.
NAN reports that the semi-automated abattoir boasts of modern slaughtering facilities such as hoisting machines, cradle tables, loading bay with stainless tables, lair-age with running water.
The lair-age has the capacity of holding 300 cows.
It also has 34 toilets, offal processing units equipped with gas cylinders, burners and stainless steel tables and two boreholes.
NAN also reports that the abattoir seats on one and half hectares of land near the old abattoir at the barrack. (NAN)