The Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS) has appealed to the federal government to exempt herders, poultry farmers and other investors in the livestock industry from lockdown orders so that they can move around to tend to their livestock.
NIAS’s president, Israel Adu, and registrar, Eaustace Iyayi, in a statement made from Abuja said the country would lose over N16 trillion, with over 200 million poultry birds and other animals would be affected, if investors in the sector were not exempted from the movement restriction order.
They also explained that hatcheries and the feed industry are related sub-sectors upon which the livestock industry relies, while noting that personnel working in the livestock sector should, upon proper identification, be allowed movement across state boarders and within the state.
The federal government ordered a complete lockdown in Lagos, the commercial hub of Nigeria, and the neighboring state of Ogun, as well as Abuja, the country’s capital city, following an announcement by President Muhammadu Buhari that the fight against the virus was a matter of life and death.
In addition to this, some state governments have decided to follow suit, given an increase in the number of confirmed cases across the country.
The institutes, while expressing worry over the spread of COVID-19, commended the federal government, the various state governments and other relevant agencies for their response and mobilization of resources, both human and material, to stem the tide so far.
NIAS pledged their total support for and ready collaboration with the government in the effort to overcome this unseen but deadly enemy, and stated that NIAS members are on standby nationwide to be called upon for voluntary services to save the livestock industry during a complete national lockdown, including in states where these measures are currently being enforced.