Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has said the bedrock of poverty in the South-West region is beef consumption as he estimated daily beef consumption in the region to be about N2.5billion.
In July 2021, the governor had vowed that his administration would address the large scale exodus of financial assets and capital to other states from the supply and consumption of cows and other meat to the state.
Ondo Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
The governor at the time said the money expected to lubricate the state economy was being lost to other states from the supply of cows and other meat sources for consumption.
In a recent development, Akeredolu who spoke at a meeting with stakeholders in the state’s education sector in Akure, Ondo capital city, urged people in the South-West to stop eating beef but consider using chicken meat during ceremonies.
The governor who was represented by Akin Olotu, his Special Adviser on Agriculture, noted that chicken meat was healthier than beef and that it would enhance the region’s economy.
He also anchored his statement on a comment from President Muhammadu Buhari encouraging Nigerians to eat local produce.
Akeredolu said, “The president said, grow what you eat and eat what you grow. I have been a serious advocate and I am re-emphasising it, please let us use chicken for our ceremonies
“Yes, I mean broilers. They are cheaper. I met with the traditional rulers and I told them that those before you have to encourage that.
“Why am I saying this? There is a N2.5 billion beef market in the South-West every day. It means every day in the South-West, we send N2.5billion out of the South-West? That is the bedrock of poverty in the region.
“We have a region that is not retaining money. Don’t let any politician tell you any abracadabra, if we don’t reverse that trend, we will continue to remain on the same spot.”
Some days ago, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) banned the slaughtering and eating of cows from Fulani herders during occasions in the South-East region.
In reaction, the Coalition of Northern groups said the order “amounted to a grave provocation and serious threat to Northern commercial interests in the South-East and by extension, to the physical wellbeing of Northerners living as minorities among Igbo communities.”
Saharareporters, New York