Normalcy returns to Oko-Oba Abattoir
One week after the Lagos State Government demolished shanties and illegal structures at the Oko-Oba Abattoir and Lairage Complex, Agege, normalcy has returned to entire complex and its environs.
During The Guardian visit last Thursday, it was observed that all activities grounded for the period the exercise lasted had picked up, as slaughtering animals and movement of carcasses were going smoothly.
The entire stretch leading to the slaughters and the loading bay wore a different look, as it is now more spacious, serene and organised.
Recalled that last Saturday, the ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Lagos State Environment and Special Offences Enforcement Unit, Department of State Security and Operation MESA, destroyed over 500 shanties and illegal structures within and outside the abattoir.
The clean up exercise was part of government’s efforts to ensure adequate upgrading and transformation of the complex for improved operations, in a bid to improve its hygienic condition and ensure best practices in the red meat value chain.
Unlike what the abattoir was in the last few weeks, kiosks and other structures resting on the perimeter fence that had earlier been converted to shelter by squatters have vanished, while the heap of refuse, which has existed for several years, cleared.
Another development noticed, was the presence of security personnel, who formed part of the task force team, majority of whom are in mufti parading the entire complex, to ensure total compliance with the state’s resolve to upgrade the complex.
In a phone chat with the Commissioner of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Mr. Oluwatoyin Suarau, while urging all the stakeholders at the complex to support the drive of government to attaining a befitting status of a smart city abattoir, he said the exercise is part of drives to improve the hygienic condition of the complex and ensure best practices in the red meat value chain and not to witch-hunt anyone.
Suarau, who spoke through the ministry’s Director of Public Affairs, Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, said the task force team would operate there for the next six months, to ensure continued monitoring of activities at the complex and ensure effectiveness of the exercise.
He warned anyone who does not have legitimate business within the complex to vacate, stressing that the state will not tolerate harboring of miscreants in and around the complex.
Speaking on the significance of the upgrade of the complex, he said state is poised to monitor and ensure a safe red meat market that will conform to the smart city status.
Reiterating government’s commitment to ensuring that Lagos remains a food secured place, Suarau assured that the present administration is ever ready to overcome all challenges threatening wholesome production and consumption of meat in Lagos.
“Operations in the abattoir after this clean up exercise will no longer be business as usual. We are committed to implementing in phases planned projects that will transform the abattoir around for good”, he added.