The President of the poultry farmers association of Nigeria, Mr. Ezekiel Ibrahim Wednesday, announced that 1.3 tonnes of poultry meat was smuggled into Nigeria in 2017.
The president of the association said the act has been on since 2014 and thereby urged the federal government not to contemplate lifting ban on importation of poultry products.
Ibrahim said this while speaking at a one day seminar for poultry farmers, titled; “impact of smuggled poultry products on the economy and health of Nigerians”.
The association also raised alarm over increasing terminal kidney and liver diseases prevalent among consumers of smuggled or imported poultry products in the country.
He urged the Kwara state government to encourage communities in the state which share boundaries with Benin Republic to become whistle blowers on the unpatriotic and obnoxious activities of smugglers.
He also urged the state government to give loans and financial assistance to civil servants to enable them go into farming so as to produce not only poultry but grains such as maize and soyabeans, which he said were critical to development of poultry sector.
“The smuggled poultry products into the country are not only affecting further development of Nigeria poultry industry, but that the whole smuggled frozen meats are unwholesome and therefore unfit for consumption thereby introducing various forms of terminal diseases into the body systems of Nigerians.
Also speaking at the event is, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed who called for stronger enforcement on the ban on poultry products by the Federal Government.
The governor, who said that the poultry sector “is currently responsible for 25 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), added that it has the potential to create employment for five million Nigerians.
“However, the industry is still faced with many challenges which include but is not limited to unfair competition from imported frozen meat, including chicken and turkey.
“Imported frozen meat is said to account for over 2.5 billion dollars in foreign exchange and a loss of more than 1 million jobs opportunities annually. The net impact of this is the gradual emasculation of local businesses, resulting in unemployment and stunting growth,” Ahmed said.