The capability of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS) to discharge her responsibilities got a further boost on Wednesday 3rd of June 2020, with the official handing over of the National Livestock Training Center in Kachia, Kaduna state to the Institute by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD).
The Center was in the past a beehive of activities for the training of manpower in the livestock sector. The downturn in the economic activities of Nigeria, especially in the agricultural sector appears to have negatively impacted on the Center, which has been moribund for over two decades.
NIAS, a federal government agency saddled with the responsibilities to guide the government on all matters pertaining to livestock husbandry applied to the FMARD in February 2020 to manage the Center and put it to better use. The federal government had before then put the Center on public tender for rehabilitation.
The Center which is located on 30 hectares of land has excellent training facilities including a 500 seater conference hall with two adjoining rooms, an administrative building with dinning, 35 bed space hostel, 3-bedroom houses for provost and deputy provost, living quarters for junior staff among others. There is also an expansive area of pasture land with adequate borehole facilities.
Speaking to Livestonews about the plans of NIAS for the Center, NIAS Registrar, Professor Eaustace Iyayi reeled out laudable plans that would definitely move the country’s livestock industry forward positively.
“The immediate plan for the Center is to use it as training hub in Livestock production, both in house and external. Long term plans include the Center serving as a model breeding center run by the Institute. NIAS Council will also decide other uses of the Center.
NIAS appears to be well ready to revitalize the training center. The Honorable Minister of Agriculture had told the Registrar that he has high expectation that NIAS will put the Center to efficient and profitable use. NIAS is certainy not ready to disappoint the Minister and the entire agric sector.
“We have plan to develop livestock units in the Center in the 2020 fiscal year appropriation and there are already fifteen staff including three agro rangers on ground at the Center. We will run the Cnter in collaboration with neighbouring Universities and Research Institutes in the zone and also liase with the Federal Department of Animal Husbandry Services whenever the need arises ”, said Professor Iyayi.
Speaking further, Professor Iyayi said the Center will house the Institute’s Postgraduate College training as well as specialized trainings along the livestock value chain of middle level manpower in collaboration with the National Board on Technical Education (NBTE).
To allay the fear of skeptics, especially with regards to bureaucratic bottlenecks associated with every well intended projects of government, Professor Iyayi retorted “ We are an agency with specific mandates and responsibilities. To that extent we don’t operate like core civil servants. Because we have a Council we report to, we have flexibility and leverages to do things at our pace. The core of our Institute are the Animal Scientists”. LIVESTONEWS.