The Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, has flagged of construction work on a modern abattoir valued at $11.4m dollars, located at Amansea, Awka, the state capital.
Performing the sod-turning on the construction site on Friday, the governor recalled that the commencement of construction work on the ultra-modern abattoir was the most critical step following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in June this year.
Governor Obiano expressed a strong reservation with the current state of abattoirs in the state saying; “what we have as abattoirs in Anambra State is not a standard we should adopt. The hygiene surrounding the places where animals are slaughtered and processed is still very poor. So, we are going to address that with this kind of abattoir. Secondly, we are going to build the same thing for other senatorial zones. We will build one in Oyi Local Government and another one in Orumba. These will address the challenge in these critical areas.”
According to him, it is only when we have done this that we can start enforcing the minimum standards of hygiene conditions surrounding meat processing, packaging and sale.
Throwing some light on the equity structure of the investment, Governor Obiano explained that the abattoir is “a partnership between Anambra State government and Hyperfarms Limited which owns 90 percent of the equity while the state government owns 10 percent. The host local government retains 2.5 percent.” The governor also revealed that on completion, Hyperfarms Limited would create 250 direct jobs and 1500 indirect jobs.
Assuring that the abattoir would be ready for commissioning after one year of commencement of construction, governor Obiano disclosed that the state’s agricultural programmes had started yielding fruits. According to him, Anambra had increased its rice production output from 80,000 metric tonnes to 190,000 metric tonnes.
“Before the end of next year, we would be able to bridge the gap between what we currently produce and the 320,000 metric tonnes of rice that we consume in Anambra State. We are also doing well in cassava and maize farming as well. We are coming close to our dream of becoming self-sufficient in food production in Anambra State. The next stage would be to export the food we produce here,” he declared.
Also speaking at the event, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon Afam Mbanefo disclosed that Hyperfarms was ably supported by a Dutch company known as Marel, which he described as one of the best companies in the world in livestock processing and packaging.
He explained that Hyperfarms has a capacity to slaughter and process 400 cattle per day and could easily handle 1000 cattle per day when fully operational and further revealed that the state had acquired a piece of land in Umunya, Oyi Local Government Area for another abattoir.
“To compliment the abattoir, we have plans to set up a Cattle Market. We will make sure that the cattle that come into our Cattle Market are properly inspected by veterinary doctors before any cattle is slaughtered and processed for consumption. This will ensure that whatever beef we consume in Anambra State is tidy and hygienic,” the commissioner further revealed.
Earlier in his remarks, the Managing Director of Hyperfarms, Engr. Dozie Abajue declared that the abattoir was the first of its kind in Nigeria. Restating his commitment to delivering the project in twelve months, Engr. Abajue assured that the project would create wealth and bolster the drive for increased Internally Generated Revenue in Anambra State.