Little or nothing is known about the Animal Market serving the Agege and other abattoirs in the Lagos area.
Though the abattoir is better known and often mistaken as the facility occupying the entire over 15hectres of land where the abattoir is located.
A first-time visitor to the animal market may not easily believe such an international market exists within the Lagos metropolis; a hub feeding the popular Agege abattoir where several other activities take place.
The facility however is not all about animals going for sale, other commercial activities take place in the area every hour of the day. The abattoir and the adjourning Animal Market can be said to be a town on its own within the Agege area of Lagos which boasts as one of the earliest settlements in Lagos area.
As the Lagos State government is positioning the city to assume a mega city status with its over 20 million population, the state government which accounts for more than half of the total internally generated revenue IGR of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of the country and erstwhile capital city is no doubt a money spinner.
One of the money making machines for this mega state is the Agege abattoir and the feeder animal market where cattle sellers from the west and central African countries move in animals in their hundreds daily.
Meanwhile the 15 hectares animal market is home to several nationals from the African continent who struggle out their livelihood from the thriving animal sector.
Erstwhile administrator of the animal market who simply introduced himself as Mr. Dele talked from his experience as the administrator of the ever bubbling and multi million Naira Animal Market who claims that the market is the largest in Africa. “I have been around for 10 years and it has been hectic here at the market,” he said.
According to him, there is a difference between the abattoir and the Animal Market, while the abattoir is the slab where animals are slaughtered for sale, the Animal Market is the facility feeding the abattoir, providing the raw material.
“The Animal Market is a facility not many people thought would survive and today it is a success story though still improving,” he said. He however went down memory lane, shedding light on how the place came to being.
“Since 2003, the Animal Market came into being by government pronouncement and support. It used to be a shanty where a lot of other activities took place, but it existed officially from 2003 as the only international animal market in the whole of Africa for cows and other animals,” he explained.
Accommodating several breeds of cows who are natives of Nigeria and other African countries, the health implication on the animals, inhabitants and traders in the market cannot be over emphasised.
Dr. Olutunde Olarinde is a veterinarian who is familiar with the market. Answering questions about the health implication due to the weather and the large crowd of herds of cattle in the market, Olarinde said, “The major health challenge is tuberculosis. These animals are being transported from the north and other countries, which is the entry point from various countries, tuberculosis is the major challenge which can also be a threat to the nomads who accompany them on the journey.”
Olarinde, a graduate of the University of Ibadan has practiced as a veterinarian and animal surgeon for over a decade. He stated further that, “Meat from the Lagos abattoir is safe for consumption because samples are well examined by experts before they are allowed to be sold. If you come here early in the day when animals are slaughtered, you would observe series of tests being conducted to ensure safety.
“For instance, the lungs of the animals are examined, infected ones always have things like noodles, which is a symptom of tuberculosis, the abattoir is not just a place animals are slaughtered, there are lots of control to ensure safety because that is the normal practice.”
Meanwhile, apart from the various economic activities around the Animal Market and the abattoir, the facility can also be maximized to generate green energy for the state.
With the population of cows imported into the facility on a daily basis, tons of dung is generated that could be converted to energy. Mr. Dele also did not fail to enlighten on the quantity of dung produced at the facility which has not been harnessed to generate energy.
Actually, one can only imagine the amount of dung being produced daily from the animal market and what use the waste can be converted into. The administrator enlightened further that, “The animal market can give us 80,000 metric tons of fertilizers each month and it can generate electricity for the entire Ifako Ijaiye and Agege Local Government areas, we told the government the market should be an international market.
The market can go a step further in its productivity by contributing to the energy sector just like it is contributing to the other sectors. This is possible with the conversion of the abundant animal dung into energy and organic manure for the agriculture sector.
As Nigeria battles with deficiency in power generation and distribution, several energy outfits have continued to strategise to improvise means of generating enough power to light up Africa’s largest population.
Mr. Segun Adaju is an energy consultant who has invested money and expertise into the renewable energy sector in Nigeria. According to him, he has made available a solar device to assist barbers generate their needed electricity for a fee.
“We have a pilot scheme of power generation for barbers. They subscribe and we get them a little solar panel which they use purposely to power their clippers and light their small shops, we have experimented this and if barbers are off grid, it would help the national grid,” he said.
Adaju who spoke recently at an energy exhibition in Lagos also muted the idea of establishing smart cities around the country. “Since the major cities are not thinking of creating smart cities, I am contemplating leaving Lagos for my small village of Kabba, in Kogi State, North Central Nigeria to use my expertise to create a smart village,” he contemplated.
Currently Nigeria power generation hits 5,090MW in April which is the highest in 2018 and this is something to cheer because power generation had been below 4500MW for long.
Meanwhile the figure which is now the highest in 2018 is far below what over 180million require to run.
Elsewhere in Egypt, a country of 99million inhabitants, the north African country is planning to double its current power generation capacity of about 30,000 megawatts by 2020 – a target that is seen as key to support ambitious economic growth plans. It may need more gas to get there.
According to an online source, the Egyptian government is seeking to draw on the expertise of global and regional players from Siemens and General Electric, to the UAE’s Taqa and Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power.
The source, thenational.ae added that, from conventional power generation using natural gas and coal, to renewable energy schemes using wind and solar, some of the industry’s biggest names have pledged to invest more than $20 billion.
Nigeria must emulate countries like Egypt and look into other sources of energy apart from hydro which is about the most popular source.
For instance in South Africa, with a population of 56million, the country has advanced in power generation to fuel its economy.
According to usaid.gov, about 89% or 40,000MW being generated in South Africa’s is generated via coal-fired power stations. While conventional thermal power sources will likely be the dominant source of electricity generation for the foreseeable future.
According to statistics, over 3,000MW of renewable energy was added to South Africa’s energy generation by the end of March 2017 accounting for slightly below 3 per cent of generated electricity.
The nation is able to account for the much electricity by making use of other sources of power generation which Nigeria must adopt if she must come out of darkness soon.
Dr. Olufolahan Osunmuyiwa is an energy expert and consultant. She said South Africa is able to generate so much for its population far below Nigeria’s because the country had invested in other sources for energy generation.
“There is nothing stopping Nigeria to invest massively in solar, wind and even domestic waste to boost the national grid,” she said.
Continuing, Osunmuyiwa, an energy consultant and researcher trained in the Netherlands said, “Nigeria has so much energy potentials along the Atlantic where she can convert energy from wind. The country can also convert domestic waste to energy as Lagos alone accounts for several tons of domestic waste on a daily basis.”
Meanwhile Nigeria has been fixated largely on hydro which she boasts of in abundance from the Kainji dam and other smaller dams around the country. However, producing just a little above 5,000MW for over 180million people may not light the country for bigger business opportunities.
If the nation must progress economically, there must be proper framework to boost the energy bank and renewable energy is no doubt the magic.
Policy makers must as a matter of urgency invest into other areas apart from hydro to increase the capacity of energy generation in Nigeria. Lagos animal market and its likes across the nation should be consulted and invested on to increase energy generation for the ever growing population.