By Yemi Adeleye
Lagos, – The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday decried the poor and unhygienic condition of abattoirs in the state and directed its Standing Committee on Agriculture to embark on oversight of the facilities.
The House, in a motion moved by 11 lawmakers and read by the prime mover, Mr Abdul-Sobur Olawale, Chairman, House Committee on Home Affairs, said that with the huge investment of the state government on abattoirs, there was a need for proper monitoring.
The motion entitled: “Need for proper monitoring of the Abattoirs and the Mode of Transportation of Meat” within the state was seconded by Mr Desmond Elliot, representing Surulere Constituency I.
Reading the motion, Olawale said: “This House notes the huge investment of the Lagos State Government in the agriculture sector over the years, especially on the purchase of modern machine for slaughtering and processing of meat in a hygienic manner, to prevent the outbreak of diseases.
“This House notes with concern the condition of abattoirs within the Lagos metropolis; the neglect of facilities provided by government and reverting to slaughtering and processing of meat in open.
“This is a crude, filthy and unhygienic method by butchers, including ancillary workers.
“This House is disturbed that many years since the meat management was revolutionalised, the industry in the state is yet to adjust effectively, since animal gore, dung as well as swarms with stench and blood spatter are still found in and around the abattoirs.”
He said that most of the butchers and other abattoir workers failed to adhere to slaughterhouse rules, including wearing of gloves, dedicated uniforms and rubber boots.
Olawale said that meat was still being conveyed on motorbike, car, truck,and other illicit means with impunity.
According to him, abattoirs business is a fully automated and highly regulated industry with extended value chains that can boost the economy of the state and also provide gainful employment to residents.
The House called on the executive arm to carry out stringent supervision to prevent huge investments in the sector from being a waste.
The lawmakers urged Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode to direct the Commissioner for Agriculture to ensure strict compliance with the slaughtering regulations by butchers across the abattoirs in the state.
The Assembly further urged Ambode to direct the Ministry of Agriculture to embark on continuous supervision to ensure that butchers adhered to hygienic methods of meat processing.
The House resolved that meat Inspection Officers should monitor the manner of transportation of meat, urged the governor to resuscitate abandoned modern abattoirs and put them to use.
The lawmakers took turns to hail the motion, saying that there was the need for the Committee on Agriculture to undertake an over- sight of all the abattoirs in the state.
Responding, the Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa said that the motion had exposed raging issues in the state’s abattoir.
Obasa, who said that the existing law on abattoirs should be encouraged, directed the House Committee on Agriculture to undertake visits to all the abattoirs in the state and report to the House within two weeks.