FG Inaugurates Committee on NAITS to Identify, Track and Curb Livestock Rustling in Nigeria

The Permanent Secretary, FMAFS, Dr Ernest Umakhihe and Members of the Committee during the Inauguration.
The Permanent Secretary, FMAFS, Dr Ernest Umakhihe and Members of the Committee during the Inauguration.

In line with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda to make Nigeria Food Secured, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe has inaugurated the Inter-departmental Technical and Implementation Committee (The Working Group) for the National Animal Identification and Traceability System (NAITS) to identify, track and curb livestock rustling in Nigeria.

Speaking during the event that took place at the Hon. Minister’s Conference room, recently, the Permanent Secretary who was represented by Director Planning and Policy Coordination, Mr. Ibrahim Taminu said that the implementation of NAITS would support livestock owners to identify their animals, curb livestock rustling, facilitate interventions in the livestock sector, provision of credit and insurance, livestock movement control, animal recording for genetic improvement and research, ease of traceability, surveillance, animal disease control and enable trade.

He emphasized that the NAITS was a comprehensive animal information management system that would utilize forgery-proof ear tags and cattle passports combined with digital technology to identify and track livestock across Nigeria.

He added that technology advancement had rapidly enhanced productivity across all sectors of the economy, noting that the progress made so far to actualize Animal Identification and Traceability in Nigeria as well as other innovations in Agriculture have been largely driven by digital transformation which has produced exponential results.

The Permanent Secretary recalled that NAITS was officially launched by the immediate past Minister, Dr. Muhammed Abubakar on the 17th of November 2022 and its operational management Centre was based in the Department of Animal Husbandry Services.

He added that a lot of sensitization activities had been going on in selected states for their buy-in and adoption for national coherence of efforts at achieving a robust livestock information database, improved production and efficient animal disease control.

In his remarks, the Chief Operating Officer, Mega Corp, Mr. Uchenna Ononye pointed out the benefits of NAITS to include; the ability to identify and trace all livestock in the country, security management, data collation, improved animal husbandry, increased employment amongst others, adding that an App had been developed to that effect and called on government for creation of more awareness and sensitization.

The Inter-Departmental Technical and Implementation Committee for NAITS was one of the required standing structures for full implementation of the system charged with the following Terms of Reference (ToR); to review the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for NAITS, review the existing MoU with MegaCorp (Technical Partner) and facilitate the buy-in and adoption of the system by MDAs and State governments.

The inauguration marks the kick-off of the committee’s activities for achieving the aforementioned functions and members of the Committee were drawn from the Ministry and its agencies, as well as MegaCorp.

Umar Rasida Sanusi
Principal Information Officer
For: Director Information