Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom has called on investors to take advantage of the vast economic potential and infrastructure provided by the state government to establish agro-based industries in the state.
The state government, he said had expected people in the private sector to capitalise on the abundant economic potential of the state to set up agro-allied businesses.
Governor Udom made the call while declaring open the 2018 professional continuing education seminar, organised by the Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN), for its members in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
He said the theme of the seminar, “Sustainable Livestock Production in Nigeria for Global Market,” was apt, saying educational enlightenment for the improvement of veterinary practice would ensure the livestock industry contributes to the nation’s Gross Domestic Production (GDP).
He advised that all hands must be on deck to ensure the livestock industry is not left behind, as government intensifies efforts to diversify from crude oil to agriculture.
The state government, the governor said, has contributed towards achieving the goals by training professionals on modern artificial insemination technique in South Africa.
Speaking further, he said his administration has established a modern cattle ranch through Public Private Partnership (PPP), ultra-modern hatchery for quality day-old chick production, renovation/putting into use one of the best abattoirs East of the Niger and provision of accommodation for the Zonal Veterinary Laboratory amongst other things.
The governor who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sufficiency, Dr. Markson Enang, expressed the hope that participants would acquire more knowledge on methods to improve on the nation’s livestock industry at the end of the training.
He challenged them on the need for mass food production to cater for the teeming population in the country, as government could not afford to do it alone.
Also, the National President of Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Godwin Abonji said, the seminar was staged in Uyo, Southern Nigeria to fulfil one of the obligations of training and re-training of members.
He noted that the challenges facing the profession was enormous calling on members to join hands with the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) to uplift the association by paying up their mandatory dues as the nation now moves from dependency on oil to agriculture.
In the same vein, the Chairman, Veterinary Council of Nigeria Ad-Hoc Committee on Continuing Education, Prof. Gabriel Ogundipe, said this year’s programme was one in the series organised by the council to update members on the development in the livestock industry
He said similar programme was held in Kaduna State for members from the northern part of the country, while the one in Uyo was for the Southern veterinarians.
Ogundipe, however, maintained that the seminar would proffer solutions to the many challenges confronting livestock production especially, the issue of self-medication, unregulated cases in anti-biotic which had hindered their products from getting into the international market.
According to him, “these diseases come from nowhere than livestock which at times create fear amongst the people like in the case of Ebola outbreak.”