Veterinarians mull N420bn contribution to national GDP

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By Olugbenga Salami

Newly President of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, NVMA, Dr. Moses Arokoyo, has disclosed the readiness of the association to contribute N420billion to the nation’s gross domestic products, GDP, saying veterinarians play important role in national development.

Speaking during the 2024 NVMA Leadership Summit and Investiture Ceremony, Arokoyo, therefore,
advocated for increased veterinarian employment to ensure livestock welfare, urging the government to reconsider its decision to de-fund the Veterinary Council of Nigeria to mitigate negative consequences on public health and food security.

He said: “Veterinarians is poised to contribute N420 billion to the nation’s GDP. Today we’re talking about the positioning of veterinary professions for food security and national development.

“We believe very strongly that veterinarians have a very significant role to play in national development and particularly for food security.”

Arokoyo highlighted the urgent need to prioritize food security and combat zoonotic diseases, emphasizing the significance of mass livestock vaccination to prevent economically devastating outbreaks.

He also stressed the importance of deploying veterinarians across local government areas to bolster disease surveillance and intervention, warning against the repercussions of a single disease outbreak on national activities.

The new NVMA President, who outlined how veterinarians could significantly contribute to the national GDP through innovative livestock management practices and strategic public-private partnerships, called for governmental trust and empowerment of the veterinary profession, citing the economic impact of various veterinary interventions in the country.

In his remarks, the President of the Veterinary Council of Nigeria, Aishatu Abubakar Baju, a serving Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, emphasized the imperative role of veterinarians in addressing food insecurity and supporting the country’s livestock reform agenda.

She reiterated the commitment of the Council to repositioning the veterinary profession to align with the nation’s development objectives and ensure sustainable food security for all Nigerians.

In his goodwill message, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, who was represented by the Chief Veterinary Officer in the ministry, Dr. Musa Mohammed Inuwa said “the profession is very vital and unique, especially in animal health, aquatic animal health, wildlife and animal welfare.”

The keynote speaker and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Interior commended the veterinarians for their contributions to the national growth, food security, employment opportunities for Nigerians.

He role of veterinary professionals is relevant in the improvement and protection of animal and human health, animal welfare, food quality, food safety, food security, development of drugs and pharmaceuticals, biomedical research, educators, trainers, policymakers, wildlife conservation, protection of the environment and biodiversity, among others.