The Nigeria Poultry Industry is one of the most influential sub sectors of the agricultural industry contributing significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria. Avian Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection which causes a high rate of mortality in domestic chickens. The disease has affected the economic growth of Poultry Industry to the GDP of Nigeria. The pandemic influenza occurs in a systematica pattern having occurred in Nigeria from 2006 to 2008 and eventually resurfaced in 2015 to 2016 but still in existence till date (2020).
The drastic socio economic impact of the AI outbreak is still very obvious in the economy of Nigeria. Livestock Industry Foundation for Africa (LIFA) investigation has proven that the disease is still spreading from regions to regions in Nigeria. LIFA concluded from her survey that AI upsurge in 2006 – 2019 is sequel to the emergence of a new disease due to climatic exigencies.
The disease is closely related to the risk of migratory birds of which Nigeria is at a risk of perpetual migration. Our study reported that Avian Influenza in Nigeria spread from 28 LGAs in 2006 to 114 in 2015 and 115 in 2017. However subsequent outbreak of AI as recorded in 2015 to 2019 resulted in a larger magnitude of local government and farm exposure.
So far AI outbreak in Nigeria from our data analysis resulted in an employee job loss of 0.46% Nigerians which translated to family dependent vulnerability of 2.3% of country population (200,000,000). The total direct losses to the industry from the Avian Influenza epidemic was estimated at ₦32.9 billion from 2006 – 2019 (Boehringer Ingelheim/SOAVET study unpublished, 2019).
From the above observations and data analysis LIFA concludes that AI is very much endemic in Nigeria, and if COVID-19 could attract this much attention to vaccination as a way out of COVID-19 pandemic. The Poultry Industry in Nigeria must start to accept AI vaccination as an appropriate option to a lasting solution to the perennial AI endemicity in Nigeria.