The Governor made this known at a meeting with Vice Chancellors of Universities on the university-based poultry revival programme on Monday.
According to him, reviving the sector will enable increased production of chicken and egg and reduce importation, as well as closing the existing demand and supply gaps.
However, the intention of the meeting was to enable stakeholders in the sector to take a critical look at the existing poultry production infrastructure with a view to addressing the challenges.
The programme would assist in raising a new crop of agropreneurs in modern poultry production, provide the infrastructure that would support the sustainable production of poultry, and reduce pressure for foreign exchange demand through import substitution by local poultry production.
Represented by CBN Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Dr Okwu Nnanna, the governor described the poultry sub-sector as the most commercialised of all Nigeria’s agricultural sub-sectors.
He described the illegal importation of poultry meat from Benin, which was estimated at about 1.2 million metric tonnes, as worrisome, adding that measures were being taken by the apex bank to check the trend.
He said, “We rely on the university-based poultry production model because you have the existing infrastructure, experience and human assets to enable production at reduced cost and in a competitive manner.
“Let me emphasise that we have structured this programme to ensure that they can be accessed by those who need them the most and are ready to operate their facilities in a commercially viable manner.
“This programme is directly in conformity with our resolve to diversify the economy, be a catalyst for job creation and inclusive economic growth.
“While these are our ultimate goals, our main intermediate objective is to ensure that poultry production is increased as well as end the smuggling of poultry products into Nigeria.”