NIGERIA – In a significant milestone for Nigeria’s meat industry, the ECOWAS Commission, in collaboration with the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), has officially commissioned a cutting-edge slaughterhouse in Abuja.

The pioneering facility, valued at US$425,000, is poised to transform the country’s beef processing landscape and address the growing demand for meat consumption.

Nigeria, boasting the largest cattle herd in the West African sub-region, with over 20 million head in 2020, has long grappled with an insufficient processing industry that struggles to meet the nation’s burgeoning appetite for beef.

The inauguration of this state-of-the-art slaughterhouse marks a significant step towards resolving this issue.

Speaking at the event, Massandje Toure-Litse, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture emphasized the vital role the abattoir would play in bolstering the local meat industry.

The facility will house a modern veterinary office, advanced processing units, a state-of-the-art packaging unit, and a capacious cold room capable of storing up to 25 tonnes of meat, ensuring optimal preservation and quality.

Additionally, the slaughterhouse will incorporate an innovative waste transformation facility, converting all slaughter waste into biogas and liquid fertilizer, a sustainable approach that aligns with environmental preservation.

Furthermore, the establishment will house a specialized training center dedicated to building the capacity of butchers and other stakeholders in the meat and livestock sector.

“With this new investment, more than 3,100 people are expected to benefit from training in modern butchery, leading to a reduction of more than 30% in animal slaughter costs, as well as the efficient recovery and utilization of waste,” Ken Koha, President of NANTS, said.

Since its commencement of operations, the slaughterhouse has already made a substantial economic impact.

It has generated more than 804 direct jobs and created over 2,000 indirect employment opportunities in the marketing and distribution of meat products, contributing significantly to the region’s economic growth and livelihood improvement.

In a country where beef consumption needs to hover around 360,000 tonnes per year, and imports make up approximately 25 to 30% of the supply, this new slaughterhouse is poised to be a game-changer.

It not only addresses the domestic demand but also bolsters Nigeria’s capacity to become a regional leader in the meat processing sector, potentially reducing the country’s reliance on imported meat products.

As the nation looks forward to enhanced meat production, the ECOWAS Commission, NANTS, and the SDC have taken a crucial step in achieving food security and economic growth for the region.

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