From the Executive Director
The scourge of rinderpest was largely responsible for the establishment of veterinary services by the British colonial powers in their colonies. The first panzootic of rinderpest in West Africa which occurred between 1885 and 1890, caused the death of 90% of the cattle population, and when it started to build up, the drought and famine of 1912-13 was followed by another wave of panzootic in 1913-14. The catastrophe precipitated in a drastic reduction of cattle population from 9.01 million to 2.7 million. The Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria therefore decided to establish veterinary services as soon as possible, but exigencies of the First World War (1914-18) caused some delay.
A Veterinary Department with skeletal staff, under the leadership of Mr. F. R. Brandt, Chief Veterinary Officer, was established in 1913 with its headquarters at Zaria in the Northern Province. A few years were spent in the organisation of the Department, conducting livestock census and disease surveys and controlling diseases by isolation, quarantine, etc with the help of village heads and Native Authority Administration.
NVRI, has since 1924 met its mandate in spite of daunting challenges. These challenges include a down turn in the Nigerian economy, varying government policies and dearth of specialised man power in the presence of decaying infrastructure. However, despite these challenges the last ninety years have seen the Institute fulfil its mandate by addressing the most devastating livestock diseases such as the eradication of rinderpest and the control of diseases like trypanosomiasis, CBPP, FMD, avian influenza, Newcastle disease and others.
A flourishing livestock sector is a requirement for the socio-economic and rapid industrialization of any country. For rapid livestock development, technologies in animal health produced through research and development activities must be ensured. NVRI stands out as a major player and stakeholder in the development of modern animal agriculture in Nigeria and Africa. It continues to play its role in the production of livestock and poultry vaccines to meet the national demand and for export. The advocated ‘One Health medicine’ initiative is being championed by NVRI through its collaborative research projects to control diseases such as brucellosis, rabies, tuberculosis and other zoonoses. The Institute’s Research programmes are demand-driven with input from livestock and poultry farmers to solve national disease problems.
I am confident that with the commitment of staff and the support of government and other stakeholders NVRI will be able to further fulfil its mandate towards better livestock and human health.
HISTORY OF THE NATIONAL VETERINARY RESEARCH INSTITUTE, VOM
A Veterinary Department with skeletal staff, under the leadership of Mr. F. R. Brandt, Chief Veterinary Officer, was established in 1913 with its headquarters at Zaria in the Northern Province.
In February 1970, the Federal Military Government promulgated a Decree establishing the National Council for Science and Technology to oversee the affairs of the research institutes including the Federal Department of Veterinary Research. In accordance with the Agricultural Institutes Decree 35 of 1975, the department became autonomous and was renamed National Veterinary Research Institute with its own Governing Board.
Vaccine Development in NVRI
The Agricultural Research Institute Decree 35 of 1975,changed the name of Federal Department of Veterinary Research to National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) and has its Mandate as follows:
1.To conduct Research into all aspects of animal diseases, their Treatment and Control.
2.To Develop and Produce animal Vaccines, Sera and Biological to meet the National demand
3.To provide Surveillance and Diagnosis of animal diseases
4.To introduce Exotic Stock for improved egg, meat and milk production
5.To provide Extension Services to poultry and livestock farmers
6.To Train intermediate Manpower in Veterinary Laboratory Technology and Animal Health and Production Technology.