The Federal and state governments are working to create enabling environment that would allow herdsmen and farmers coexist harmoniously.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo gave the assurance while declaring open the 55th annual congress of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association in Sokoto on Tuesday.
He described the theme of the conference “The Veterinary Profession and Emerging Global Challenges” as both appropriate and timely because the Global Community was currently being faced with a myriad of problems such as climate change, emerging diseases, poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Alhaji Abdulazeez Mashi, expressed optimism that the meeting would provide the platform to discuss ways to effectively harness the country’s livestock resources considering its tremendous potentials for foreign exchange earnings.
He applauded the efforts of Veterinarians in the control and prevention of dreadful animal diseases of economic and public health significance such as Avian Influenza, peste de petit ruminant (PPR), Lassa fever among others.
The Vice President said that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had recently approved new guidelines for registration of veterinary practice premises in order to promote regulation of veterinary practices in the country in line with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) standards.
He noted that the government, through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, was supporting the passage of a Bill for an act to amend the Animal Diseases (Control) Act Cap A17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria and Veterinary Teaching Hospital (Establishment) and other related matters.
He called on the state and local governments to continue to employ veterinarians into their respective services, disclosing that the federal government would upgrade veterinary clinics across the country.
In his welcome address, the President of the association, Dr. Godwin Abonyi, averred that the deteriorating clash between herders and farmers has become a sore-point in the history of agricultural development.
He called on those concerned to remember that both crops and livestock were reared to give food to man in order to stay alive.
In his keynote address, the President, Infrastructural Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, identified absent of rural infrastructure, weak and inconsistent policies, corruption and greed as well as disregard Cor the rule of law and order as the bane of agricultural development in Africa.
He also tasked government at all levels to provide durable solution to herdsmen/ farmers clashes in Nigeria through concerted policy change.