The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar has said that the Ministry through the Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services would support Gombe State and other States in the North East Geopolitical Region with about 2 Million Free of Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Peste Des Petits Ruminants (PPR) and Newcastle Disease (ND) vaccines, among others. 

 The Minister made this known during the flag off ceremony of 2022 Nationwide Free Mass Vaccination Campaign against Transboundary Animal Diseases in Dadinkowa, Yamaltu Deba Local Government Area of Gombe State, recently.

 Represented by the Director, Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control and Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria, Dr. Maimuna Habib, the Minister 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.

 Dr. Abubakar 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. 

 He added that ” 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 pointed out that “Nigeria’s Livestock Population is put at 22,378,374 Cattle; 53,061,143 Sheep; 99,879,799 Goats; 9,299,563 Pigs and over 425,790,456 Poultry, spread across the six Geopolitical Zones of the country, kept by majority of Nigerians especially in rural and semi-rural settings. Noting that the full potentials of these animals and the attendant socio-economic benefits they provide cannot be guaranteed unless they are in a state of good health which can only be achieved through vaccination against diseases like CBPP and FMD in cattle; PPR in sheep and goats, and NCD in chickens”.

 The Minister urged Development partners and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to key into this initiative by supporting the States with more vaccines and the logistics that are needed to carry out the mass vaccination in the country and collaboration with our neighboring countries of Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic.

 Dr. Abubakar appealed that “the exercise should be taking as a call to national service and to give it the best attention that it deserves and ultimately, all of us shall be part of making history 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 remarks, the Executive Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya said that this is the third time the exercise is being carried out under his administration and commended the Ministry for its tireless efforts and commitment in ensuring the control of these animal diseases. 

 Earlier In his welcome address, the  State Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry , Hon. Muhammad Magaji said that “this is the first time that Zonal vaccination of animals is being carried out and am very happy and delighted that Gombe State has been chosen as the flag-off point in the North-East’’.

In his remarks the Chairman Miytti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Gombe State Chapter, Mallam Madibbo Yahaya thanked the Federal Government for the programme which was geared towards achieving increase in food production, generate more revenue for farmers as well as sustain the diversification in the Agricultural sector.

Mohammed Abdullahi Gana

Information officer II

For: Director, Information (FMARD)