The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has stated that Nigeria currently losses over $2 billion to smuggled poultry products, noting that the situation poses a serious threat to the nation’s poultry industry.
The National President of the association, Dr. Ayoola Oduntan, explained that over 1.2 million tonnes of smuggled poultry products, which are mainly frozen chicken and turkey, has continued to impact negatively on poultry farmers in the country.
Oduntan during the 2015 edition of the association’s annual national poultry summit, pointed out the country’s 300,000 tonnes of local production is a far cry from what is presently smuggled into the nation.
“Nigeria cannot continue to be a subtle dumping ground for all kinds of poultry and poultry products. Considering the high level of unemployment in the country, the government must do everything it can to reopen closed farm and develop the poultry industry, rather than wasting hard earned foreign exchange on products that gives nothing but financial losses to the economy,” he said.
He however noted that the outbreak of avian influenza, which affected 25 states in the country killing over 1.2 million birds, has increased to 1.4 million in 5 months.
“Financial support will be made by the World Bank to all farmers. Farmers must learn and also pay attention on the best and hygienic ?way to prevent these diseases,” he said.
Oduntan warned that the industry is also threatened by the negative impact of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the introduction of the Common External Tariff (CET), which is discouraging local production.
He called for focus on policy advocacy and institutional linkages that would put poultry business on the path of excellence.
“I want to assure that PAN shall continue to put poultry production at the forefront of agricultural production in Nigeria for the benefit of all poultry farmers,” Oduntan added.
Also speaking at the event, the Comptroller General of Customs, Dikko Abdullahi, expressed the readiness of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to collaborate with PAN in enhancing the growth of the poultry industry.
This, he said, would be in the area of protecting local poultry business by intensifying seizures of smuggled poultry products through the nation’s border posts.
The comptroller general who was represented by an Assistant Controller of Customs, Musa Binga said the NCS was conscious of its role in protecting poultry products and those of other local industries by curtailing smuggling.
“We are very conscious of the crucial role of the Customs in protecting the poultry industry by curtailing the smuggling of poultry products into the country, especially through our border posts.
“As an evidence of the service’s commitment to the protection of the local poultry industry, we have improved on the seizures of smuggled poultry products through various border posts.
“There has been daily increase in the rate of seizures of poultry products, compared to seizures of other products.
“For instance in 2009, the rate was one per cent per count of total seizures by the service. But by 2013, the rate ran to eight per cent per count of total seizures made by the service,” he said.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.