The chairman of Anambra State Butchers Association, Chief Felix Obuchukwu Ikenga, has said Governor Willie Obiano has done a lot to improve the welfare of butchers in the state.
Chief Ikenga, who is also the Vice-Chairman of National Union of Nigerian Butchers Association, said this when he spoke to newsmen in Umunya, Oyi Local Government Area of the state recently.
Ikenga, who is also the Coordinator of South East Butchers Association, said that Governor Obiano has improved the business of their members by floating a revolving loan for them.
He said the loan which ranges from N5 million was being repaid within two years with a single digit interest of nine percent.
He said this gesture was due to Governor Obiano’s interest in providing quality animal protein for the residents and citizens of the state, especially children because protein is essential for the overall development of children.
Ikenga, however, appealed to the governor to recognise butchers in the state as traders, so that they can benefit from what traders are benefiting.
“As butchers, we do not only kill, we also sell. So we should be recognised as traders. They should do for us what they are doing to traders,” he said.
He lamented that the recession has affected their business seriously as their customers have drastically reduced.
Ikenga said before recession, they were slaughtering about 3, 500 cows daily but since recession, they slaughtered 2,500 cows daily.
He dismissed claim by some people that they slaughtered cows under unhygienic environment, saying that about 35 abattoirs in the state have water boreholes with veterinary officers attached to each of them and every person who slaughtered cows was licensed.
He also said donkeys were not slaughtered in any abattoir in the state and if found sold in any part of the state, it must have been brought from neighbouring states, adding that they do not waste time to cease the meat and destroy them.
Ikenga said the association some time ago arrested three persons who brought donkey meet to Onitsha from Agbor, Delta State and handed them over to security agencies.
Since then, he said they have never experienced that again even though there have been complaints that donkey meet were being sold in the state, especially in Onitsha by some unscrupulous elements within the industry.