The House of Representatives has ordered the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Consumers Protection Council (CPC) to enforce the ban on importation, smuggling, trading and consumption of foreign poultry products in Nigeria.
The house has also indicated its resolve to summon them before the Ad-Hoc Committee to be set up by the House to explain why they had refused to enforce the ban by the Federal Government.
Bringing the matter before the House’s plenary, Hon. Abubakar Amuda- Kannike, noted that there exists a ban on the subject matter, and the consequent listing of live and dead birds, including frozen poultry on the prohibition list.
The lawmaker expressed worry that the imported/smuggled poultry products constitute serious health hazards such as renal and liver failure as well as several other cases of digestive and intestinal health issues as a result of their process of preservation, which involve the use of high levels of formalin and heavy metals that are toxic to vital organs.
Amuda- Kannike expressed concern that the economic impact on the local poultry industry is enormous, given that Nigerians lose about one million jobs and about 2.4 billion dollars, approximately, N399.4 billion annually to importation and smuggling of frozen birds – a figure, he felt is conservative, with the loss actually estimated to be in the region of over N600 billion annually.
The lawmaker said he is aware that the Nigerian poultry industry lacked the capacity to satisfy local consumption demand of slightly above two million metric tones, MT, annually, of which only a paltry 300,000MT is being produced locally, leaving a wide gap of about 1.7 million MT.
He lamented that while there was a proclaimed Federal Government ban on frozen poultry products, the nation’s porous borders still create avenues for smuggling of these hazardous products into the country.
He said he is desirous of ensuring that this issue is tackled with all sense of seriousness in a bid to nip it in the bud because of its inherent dangers to the health of the citizens as well as its adverse effect on the economy of the country.
From his prayers which were amended by members on the floor of the House presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, the House resolved to urge the Nigeria Customs to be more vigilant at the borders, to ensure that banned poultry products do not enter our country.
It urged ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs, to come up with policies that would protect farmers from the +activities of middle men and provide funding, feeds, so as to optimise the production capacity of Nigerian poultry farmers to meet the demand for poultry products.
It also urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to increase the percentage lending to poultry farmers to encourage high local production of poultry products.