The idea of operating a central abattoir in Ibadan for wholesome meat consumption is not only compliant with the world standard practices but also a step towards ensuring public health built around a centrally controlled means and tools of preparing what humans consume –beef.
The idea of Ibadan Central Abattoir, investigation revealed, emanated from CE Ltd, a subsidiary of Ahmak Group for the whole of Ibadan metropolis, covering 11 local government areas, but had been reviewed by the present administration, which culminated into signing of the agreement on February 27 this year.
Justifications adduced for the idea include unkempt abattoirs currently being operated within the metropolis and potential health risks posed to the public; poor means of transporting beef from filthy abattoirs to points of sale; poor disposal and management of wastes from cattle and other unwholesome practices associated with slaughtering and packaging of beef for public consumption.
If it becomes operational, the abattoir becomes the only place where cattle can be slaughtered and packaged in the 11 local government areas, and thus becoming a hub where the health status of the animal is ascertained before consumption. The advocates also argue that the economy of the state would be boosted and employment would be generated.
As good as the idea appears, it has taken too long to become operational. But investigation revealed that it seemed the government and operators have decided to open the place soon.
Our source, who preferred anonymity, said the abattoir would be inaugurated this month, between February 20 and 25.
The abattoir is a Public-Private-Partnership initiative (PPP) and is built around the Design, Build, Operate and Transfer (DBOT) arrangement with Oyo State government for 25 years, and it becomes the property of the state government 100 per cent after the period. Investigation also revealed that by the agreement, 30 per cent of the net revenue would be remitted to the government annually.
As the abattoir is awaiting formal opening and operation, it boasts of, among other facilities, about four standard cold rooms of 16 metric tonnes capacity each; a 300-space car park; two manual and one automated slaughtering houses; 5,000-capacity cattle holding bays; veterinary clinic/laboratory; sick bay; a police post; a banking hall; a canteen/restaurant; meat stalls; lock-up shops and 200,000-litre water reservoir; toilet facilities; solar light; four industrial power generators and about 20 beef distribution vans, as well as a plan for biogas production.
The abattoir, expected to be inaugurated between March 20 and 25, would be a reference point in Africa when operational.
Consumption of wholesome meat slaughtered and packaged under hygienic conditions, employment opportunities, revenue to the state government, a boost to local economy and other benefits are expected from the state-of-the-art abattoir.