Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has stated that the bank is collaborating with several educational institutions on chicken production in order to strengthen the economy and generate jobs for the country’s youth.
Emefiele stated at the inauguration of the University of Ilorin GGMAX Integrated Commercial Poultry Farm that the CBN Tertiary Institutions Poultry Revival Scheme (TIPRS), a collaboration between several institutions, was aimed at “boosting poultry production, creating decent jobs, and fostering innovation in the poultry sub-sector.”
The CBN governor, who was represented by Edwin Nzelu, the bank’s Deputy Director and Secretary to the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF), blamed the prevalence of poultry product smuggling on the country’s inability to meet its level
According to him, “the country’s demand for eggs
and meat is currently outstripping its current supply by 1.2 million metric tons and 140,000 metric tons for meat and eggs, respectively,” Nzelu said, stressing that the deficit had driven the smuggling of unhealthy frozen chicken into the country.
“Over the years, this demand gap has driven the smuggling of unhealthy frozen chicken into the country,” he added.
“To close this gap, the Central Bank of Nigeria has introduced various intervention schemes focused on boosting poultry production, creating decent jobs, and fostering innovation in the poultry sub-sector,” he said.
He noted that the multi-million naira initiative will assist to bridge the significant gap between demand and supply for chicken products, which is partly driven by the prohibition on poultry importation.
The N600m investment, supplied to UNILORIN by Zenith Bank at a single-digit interest rate of 5%, was used to build broiler and layer pens and cages, as well as purchase over 50,000 birds, feed milling equipment, processing machines, and other auxiliary poultry facilities.
In his remarks, the university’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Sulyman Abdulkareem, stated that the chicken farm was intended to contribute to Nigeria’s food security.
Abdulkareem said, “Construction started on the 30-hectare farm in the first week of February and finished by the middle of May.” The farm was in a state to receive, 17,000 layers.
“Today, the farm has fully built broiler pens with a capacity for 5,000 birds each and another two of similar capacity, under construction, to raise the total installed capacity to 40,000 broilers; four fully built layers’ pens currently housing 17,000 layers, with an installed capacity of 33,000; a feed mill with an installed capacity of 5 tons/hour; a semi-automated broiler processing unit (BPU) with a capacity to produce 1,000 birds/day, and a manure processing unit.”
Also speaking at the event, a monarch, the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi, who is also a poultry farmer, commended the initiative of the apex bank and the concerted efforts of the university that brought the project to reality.
However, the former Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAB), Professor Oluwafemi Balogun, who is the external consultant for the project, advised the university to take the project out of its administration.