In furtherance to the Federal Government commitment to curtail the spread of trans boundary diseases in Nigeria, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar has supported Edo State and other States in the South South Geo-Political zone with over 1.8 million  free vaccines.

The Minister revealed this during the flag off ceremony of 2022 Nationwide Free Mass Vaccination Campaign against Transboundary Animal Diseases in Benin, Edo State, recently. 

He said that the transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) such as Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Peste Des Petits Ruminants (PPR) and Newcastle Disease (ND) are affecting the livestock population and to achieve the much-desired herd immunity for prevention, control and possibly eradication, they ought to be adequately vaccinated.

The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal  Ministry of Agriculture ad Rural Development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe stated that Livestock production was a major means of livelihood in Nigeria which employs about 70% of our population, food nutrition and security as well as means of livelihood for majority of our rural dwellers.

He added that livestock supplies the much-needed protein for growth and mental development of our children, spendable income and the by-products from these animals like hides and skin are used for the production of belts, shoes among other things.

 The Minister revealed that the Ministry has policies and National programme for the control of these diseases, while it is the policy for routine vaccination for all diseases, it is our policy as a country not to vaccinate against Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, also known as Bird flu. 

In his words ” over the years, the policy of CBPP, FMD, PPR and ND control in Nigeria has been routine annual vaccination; However, the vaccination coverage has been limited by inadequate resources. But going forward, we intend to scale up vaccination coverage as more resources become available’’.

He urged Development partners and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to key into the initiative by supporting the States with more vaccines and the logistics needed to carry out the mass vaccination in the country.

 Dr. Abubakar stressed that the exercise should be taking as a call to national service and to give it the best attention that it deserves, as Nigeria joins other nations of the world to control and eradicate these dreaded diseases of cattle, poultry, sheep and goat from our national herd.

In his welcome address, the Acting Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu represented by the Commissioner for  Agriculture and Food Security, Edo State, Hon. Stephen  Idenhere commended the effort of the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in controlling animal diseases  across the nation.

In his words, “I called on all States within the South South region, to join hands in the battle as animal disease control is a collective responsibility”.

“This synergy would go a long way in enhancing livestock production in the zone thereby improving the socio- economic status of the rural dwellers” Shaibu added.

He revealed that Edo State Government had keyed into the Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support(LPRES) project of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, ECOWAS- PACBAO which were aimed at improving livestock production and curbing farmers/ herders clashes.

Speaking further, he stated that Edo State was at the verge of resuscitating Igarra- Ewan Cattle Ranch as well as establishing livestock production centres to promote responsible ruminant production in the State.

He, therefore, thanked the Ministry for choosing Edo State as a flag -off State for the South South region.

In his good will message, the Permanent Secretary of Cross River State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Jacobs Udida commended the Federal Government’s initiative towards the Free Mass Vaccination Campaign against  Transboundary Animal Diseases and for providing Primary Health Center which would go a long way to improve Animal Health.

In her remarks, the Director, Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control and Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria, Dr. Maimuna Habib said that the Ministry would continue to support and collaborate with States to ensure the good health of livestock in Nigeria through the provision of vaccines, trainings, disinfectants and veterinary drugs as much as possible.

She stated that the Ministry intended to do the same in other remaining 3 geopolitical zones (South – East, South-West & North-Central) of the country, having carried out similar exercise in Jigawa and Gombe states respectively.

Dr. Habib emphasized that the vaccines were procured through the intervention fund of the Federal Government for the control of Transboundary Animal Diseases,  she urged the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVSs) in the region to submit their vaccine needs and indicate their readiness to commence field vaccination exercise. This she pointed out would enable the Department communicate to National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, for prompt release of vaccines allocated to the States and ensure the participation of federal staff at the vaccination exercise. 

Highlight of the event was the symbolic flag off of Vaccination Exercise by the representative of the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Hon. Stephen Idenhere and the Representative of the Hon.Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe.

In attendance were the Cattle  Breeders Association of Nigeria, Sheep and Goat Association of Nigeria, Edo Pigs Association,  All Farmers Association of Nigeria among others.

Eremah Anthonia 


For: Director Information (FMARD)