Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu says his government has concluded plans to bolster the livestock industry through the creation of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) within the state.
Mr Mbah revealed this in his address at the Veterinary Medicine Alumni Homecoming and 1st Faculty Lecture Series titled, “Amb Ogbonnaya Nduaka Inaugural Lecture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) on Saturday.”
Ejike Oji, President of Dr Ejike Oji Community Development Foundation, delivered the first lecture series on behalf of Amb. Ogbonnaya Nduaka family.
The governor, who was represented by the State Epidemiologist, Cosmas Omeh, said that the SPAZs would be established in each of the three senatorial districts of the state.
According to him, these zones will serve as strategic hubs for poultry and other livestock production, processing, and value addition; thus, providing an enabling environment for increased productivity, technological advancements, and market access.
“By establishing these SPAZs, the government aims to unlock the immense potential of our poultry and livestock industry, attract investments and promote job creation.
“These zones will facilitate the integration of various value chain actors, including farmers, processors, distributors, and exporters, fostering collaboration and synergy among stakeholders for mutual growth and prosperity,” he said.
Governor Mbah said that in addition to the establishment of the SPAZs, the government was already implementing a comprehensive package of initiatives to uplift the poultry and livestock sector.
“These include access to affordable financing, improved veterinary services, capacity-building programmes, and the promotion of research and innovation as-well-as actively working to address challenges such as disease control, market access, and development of efficient supply chains.”
The governor also announced that Enugu State was currently rated among the top three poultry-producing states in Nigeria.
“This accomplishment is a testament to the resilience and hard work of our veterinary services, poultry and livestock farmers, who have consistently demonstrated their dedication to excellence and quality.
“The government recognises their invaluable contributions and is committed to providing them with the necessary support, infrastructure, and resources to thrive in an increasingly competitive market,” he said.
Governor Mbah urged the faculty of veterinary medicine and livestock experts, academics, and policy-makers to join hands with the government and work together to unlock the livestock industry’s full potential.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of UNN, Prof. Charles Igwe, challenged various alumni at faulty and department levels in the institution on the need to give back to the society through investment and helping to uplift academic standard.
Mr Igwe, who was represented by Prof. Pat Okpoko, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, commended the alumni for the home-coming event that would enable them know the state of infrastructural development in their alma mater.
He pledged to give the alumni the necessary cooperation to enable the university to access whatever funds the alumni would attract nationally and internationally as well as use the same fund judiciously for verifiable landmark projects.
“Best-ranking universities in the world like Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard among others are funded and equipped more by their alumni,” he said.