Members of the Nigeria Association of Agricultural Students, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, have appealed to the National Assembly and other relevant authorities to tackle the danger posed to the health of Nigerians by the indiscriminate importation of frozen foods and poultry products.
The association urged the National Assembly to enact laws banning the importation of frozen foods and poultry products in the interest of the country’s economic well being.
NAAS also urged the Nigeria Customs Service, the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the Nigeria Police and other law enforcement agencies to intensify their patrol of the nation’s porous borders to check the dumping of unwholesome poultry products in the country.
NAAS President, Titilola Mukail, at a press briefing in Abeokuta, shortly after a sensitisation rally on Friday, said as part of activities marking the association’s annual week-long programme, declared that indiscriminate food importation was not only dangerous to the nation’s economy but also harmful to the health of the people.
Mukail said the development was also capable of worsening the unemployment situation among Nigerian youths.
He also expressed displeasure at the relegation of the nation’s agricultural sector to the background.
He said, “We have observed critically that Nigeria as a developing country has not gotten to a level where we can manufacture electronics, automobiles, machines and the rest of other equipment produced by the developed world. Then, agriculture which has been our age-long heritage should not be allowed to be dragged in the mud.
“One of the tools in the hands of the government is the protection of infant industries so that revenue can be generated. But the big question is: how would a farmer pay his taxes and levies when the industry is not thriving?”
He asked, “How will the economy attract foreign investors when the indigenous companies aren’t performing well and still battling in debts? How will there be development and growth in a nation when the national income is not growing?”
The NAAS president argued that the porous nature of the nation’s borders was one of the major factors fuelling the illegal importation of frozen foods and poultry products into the country.