Veterinarians vital for food security in Nigeria- Ndayako

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By Palma Ileye

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Dr. Aishetu Gogo Ndayako has emphasized the critical role of Veterinarians in ensuring food security in Nigeria, aligning with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

Ndayako stated this in a press release issued by Ozoya Imohimi, Director, Press and Public Relations Department of the Ministry.

Speaking at the Annual Leadership Summit and Investiture of the 21st Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, NVMA, she stressed the importance of veterinarians in safeguarding the provision of wholesome food of animal origin.

She said, “As veterinarians, we are responsible for protecting the health and welfare of livestock and ensuring that food of animal origin is safe for consumption.

“Our role in food security is closely intertwined with the national development goals outlined in President Tinubu’s agenda, particularly in ending poverty, promoting economic growth, and improving security.”

She highlighted the need for investment in the Veterinary profession to achieve these goals, urging the new NVMA leadership to advocate for funding and support.

“Investing in the veterinary profession is investing in a healthier, food-sufficient, and more prosperous future for Nigeria,” she reiterated.

In his welcome address, the newly elected president of the NVMA, Dr. Moses Arokoyo, echoed Dr. Ndayako’s sentiments, calling for Government funding of the Veterinary Council of Nigeria and mass vaccination campaigns against economic killer diseases.

“It is no longer news that 75 per cent of the emerging and re-emerging diseases are of animal origin, for example, Ebola, Lassa fever, Anthrax, Rabies amongst others.

“This has made it clear that the 21st Century Veterinarian has the huge task of being the global gate-keepers securing public health and safety. For instance, Rabies is 99 per cent fatal but 100 per cent preventable so one death due to Rabies is a death too many!

“Veterinarians play a pivotal role in boosting the national GDP through innovative livestock management practices and public-private partnerships.

“With proper empowerment, veterinarians can significantly boost the national GDP through innovative livestock management practices and public-private partnerships,” Arokoyo added.

In the same vein, President of the Veterinary Council of Nigeria, Dr. Aishatu Abubakar Baju, expressed readiness to collaborate to promote an enabling environment for veterinarians to thrive and maintain standards.

Baju commended the initiative of President Tinubu and called for a response to the call for action in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda.

The event convened stakeholders from the veterinary profession, government, and the private sector to discuss strategies for repositioning the veterinary profession for food security and national development, in line with President Tinubu’s agenda.