Bird Flu: FG Pays N643m Compensation To 246 Poultry Farmers | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Bird Flu: FG Pays N643m Compensation To 246 Poultry Farmers

Posted: Oct 1, 2015 at 12:08 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

• As Bird Flu Spreads To 22 States, 85 LGAs In Nigeria

By Chibuzor Emejor


Federal Government on Wednesday announced that it has paid a total of N643million as compensation to 246 poultry farmers across the country whose farms were affected by bird flu or Avian Influenza in the recent outbreak of the disease.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sonny Echono, who announced this at the poultry industry stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja, explained that the total compensation claims was over N1.1billion.

Echono explained that the outstanding sum of N476million would still be paid to 250 affected farmers.

However, he revealed that the payment of compensation to farmers would be suspended until the affected poultry farmers have complied with bio-security measures put in place by the Ministry.

He further said from henceforth that  payment of compensation  would be done by the three tiers of government, adding that it would no longer be the sole responsibility of the Federal Government.

Meanwhile, he also disclosed that the disease has spread to 21 States and Abuja as well as 85 Local Government Areas across the country.

Echono said 491 farms were affected which resulted in the de-population of over 1,597, 191 birds in these farms across the country.

He expressed worry that of recent, the Avian Influenza has been  newly discovered in  Abia, Enugu, Rivers, Oyo, Ogun, and Lagos States in addition to Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

According to him, “Although the initial strategies put in place succeeded and resulted in non-reporting of outbreaks nationwide for about eight weeks[May-June], the disease thereafter has continued to spread mainly in the southern states and the latest outbreaks reported between July-September, 2015 in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Enugu, Abia, Rivers and FCT, Abuja.

“These new outbreaks have been attributed to non-compliance to bio-security in farms, limited awareness creation on the disease among the farmers, disregard to public policy on citing of poultry farms and other enforcement protocols which are expected to be implemented by the State Veterinary Services.”

As part of the measures to further contain the spread of the disease, the Permanent Secretary said the Federal Government in collaboration with the World Bank and USAID has procured containment inputs for depopulation and decontamination of the affected farms, adding that the equipment has been distributed to States for utilisation.

He also said the Food and Agriculture Organisation[FAO] has assisted Nigeria with the procurement of laboratory reagents and equipment for sample analysis and disease diagnosis.

According to him, the Ministry together with FAO and USAID has conducted series of trainings and capacity building workshops on Avian Influenza for Federal, State and Local Government officials, state extension workers, private veterinarians, surveillance agents as well as poultry farmers.

Echono tasked state and local governments across the country to be up and doing in the containment of Avian Influenza, warning that Nigeria may be declared as Avian Influenza endemic country, if proactive measures were not taken by the relevant authorities.

However, he allayed the fears being expressed in some quarters over the eating of poultry products, adding that they are safe for consumption.