Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has directed butchers in the 11 Local Government Areas of Ibadanland to relocate to the multi-billion naira central abattoir by the end of April.
The governor gave the directive during a stakeholders’ meeting held at the House of Chiefs, at the Secretariat in Ibadan.
The multi-billion naira central abattoir is located in Amosun Village in the Akinyele Local Government Area in Ibadan.
NAN reports that the butchers were led to the meeting by the South-West Coordinator of the Butchers Association, Alhaji Biliaminu Elesinmeta, and the association’s state Chairman, Alhaji Azeez Alagunfon.
Ajimobi said that the meeting was called to find a lasting solution to issues surrounding the relocation of butchers in Ibadan to the central abattoir and to dispel their misgivings about the project.
“Apart from its state-of-the-art facilities that would promote the hygiene of meat consumers, it is also capable of ending the incessant clashes between herders and farmers,’’ he said.
The governor explained that the abattoir was a joint venture among a private establishment, C & E Consulting Ltd, the state government, the butchers association, and the 11 LGs and 14 Local Council Development Areas in Ibadanland.
He stressed that the private partners would have 50 per cent share, the LGs and the LCDAs 36 per cent, the state government10 per cent, while the butchers have 4 per cent in the ownership structure.
According to him, “We plan to develop your business through the central abattoir. I told those in charge of the arrangement that the butchers, the state government, the LGs and the LCDAs and our private partners should co-own the facility.
“We are sure that the lingering crisis between the farmers and herdsmen will not arise again, because cows will now be transported here directly, instead of our towns and villages where grazing on farmlands have been generating tension.
“I’m also happy that this arrangement will bring about a change in the way butchers handle meat and it will improve the hygiene of the business.
“The facility is going to have health and sanitary officers that will ensure strict compliance with the basic hygiene of meat handling.”
Ajimobi said that effective from May, the project must be actualised, saying that a committee comprising all stakeholders would start meeting immediately and arrive at a conclusion before the end of April.
The governor told the butchers that each cow butchered at the central abattoir would attract a fee of N3, 500.00, adding that the fee would cover the use of the facility.
He said that the state had entered into an agreement with the private investors to use the facility for 30 years, after which its total ownership would be transferred to the butchers.
Ajimobi appealed for the support and understanding of the butchers to comply with the relocation order, saying that the facility had suffered neglect for too long due to unresolved issues among stakeholders.
The butchers expressed gratitude to the governor for allaying their fears about the project, commending his support to them through financial empowerment and donation of a new bus.
They said that the earlier misunderstanding between the association and the government was due to lack of adequate information from the immediate-past administration in the state.
The butchers stated that they were not briefed on the benefits accruable to them from the central abattoir.
Elesinmeta, however, appealed to the state government to reduce the N3,500 costs attached to each butchered cow in the facility.
He also solicited logistics support for members of the association located in different parts of Ibadan metropolis.