David Shamaki, a Director of the National Veterinary Research Institute, NVRI, has been appointed as the Acting Executive Director of the institute.
Mr. Shamaki’s appointment is contained in a letter from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr. Shamaki replaces Mohammed Ahmed, who recently retired from service after the end of his five-year tenure as the boss of the institute.
Shamaki, who joined the service of the institute as a research officer in 1982, rose to the rank of a director in 2007, and is currently the most senior director in the institute and head of research.
The new boss said in Vom on Sunday that he would focus on production of vaccines to save the nation’s poultry and livestocks.
“We intend to embark on full production and commercialisation of vaccines for our poultries and livestocks.
“We have sent a proposal to that effect to the Minister of Agriculture and he has promised to facilitate it,” he said.
He said that N700 million had been expended on the vaccine production laboratory project, while N2.6 billion was the estimate to complete it.
Mr. Shamaki said that the institute currently had two laboratories for the production of vaccines for bacterial diseases and viral diseases in animals.
According to him, research and production of vaccines are usually conjoined together, hence they are usually very costly.
The NVRI boss said that the vaccines would mostly be to protect goats, sheep and cattle from lungs and liver-related diseases.
He said that the company, when completed, should be able to pay its staff with proceeds from the sales of vaccines.
The NVRI boss identified shortage of funds as the institute’s main concern, stressing that massive funds were usually required for research and diagnosis, especially since all samples were usually brought to the institute.
Mr. Shamaki blamed the resurgence of avian influenza that recently led to the destruction of five million birds on lack of surveillance.
“The disease is usually spread by migratory birds; we effectively controlled the first outbreak in 2006, but did not sustain the surveillance against a recurrence.
“Chickens move very fast from one country to another and from one market to another; so we must be permanently vigilant and alert,” he said.