Reps di­vided over ban on chicken im­por­ta­tion

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Ibrahim Kabiru Sule

Mem­bers of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives yesterday dif­fered on whether the ban on the im­por­ta­tion, smug­gle and trad­ing of poul­try prod­uct be en­forced or loosen ow­ing to the im­pli­ca­tion on the lives of Nige­ri­ans and the rev­enue gen­er­a­tion per­spec­tives.

The law­mak­ers spent more than an hour de­bat­ing the need to en­force the ban over the dan­gers in­volved in con­sump­tion of con­tra­band prod­uct or oth­er­wise.

Rep Abubakar Amu­daKan­nike, who spon­sored the mo­tion, call­ing for the en­force­ment of the ban on im­por­ta­tion, trad­ing and con­sump­tion of poul­try prod­uct, said the trade con­sti­tutes “se­ri­ous health haz­ards.”

He said some of the health im­pli­ca­tions af­fect re­nal and hu­man liver, not­ing the high lev­els of for­ma­lin and heavy met­als which are toxic to vi­tal or­gans of the body are used in the preser­va­tion of poul­try prod­ucts.

“The eco­nomic im­pact to the lo­cal poul­try in­dus­try is enor­mous, given that Nige­ri­ans lose about 1 mil­lion jobs and about N399.4 bil­lion an­nu­ally to im­por­ta­tion and smug­gling of frozen birds, the loss is es­ti­mated to be in the re­gion of over N600 bil­lion an­nu­ally.

But the law­maker ac­knowl­edged that the Nige­rian poul­try in­dus­try is lack­ing the ca­pac­ity to sat­isfy lo­cal con­sump­tion de­mand which he said is slightly above 2 mil­lion met­ric tonnes an­nu­ally.

Con­tribut­ing on the need to en­force the ban, Rep Se­gun Aji­bola said the pro­hi­bi­tion of poul­try im­ports into the coun­try would en­cour­age em­ploy­ment gen­er­a­tion.

He said it was glar­ing that im­ported poul­try prod­ucts has been one of the rea­sons for preva­lent ail­ments found in the Nige­rian so­ci­ety.

Mi­nor­ity leader of the House, Rep Leo Ogor how­ever coun­tered the sub­mis­sions, say­ing en­forc­ing the ban would spell more dan­ger to Nige­ri­ans than the im­por­ta­tion.

Rep Ogor said the ban of poul­try prod­ucts open an av­enue of smug­gling in­crease into the coun­try as lo­cal poul­try pro­duce would not be enough to com­pen­sate need of the Nige­rian pop­u­la­tion.

The House even­tu­ally re­solved to call on Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Coun­cil (CPC) to carry out its man­date of raid­ing ware­houses, mar­kets, stores and other points of the dis­tri­bu­tion and sales of im­ported and smug­gled poul­try prod­ucts for con­fis­ca­tion and de­struc­tion.

Rel­e­vant agen­cies such as the Na­tional Ori­en­ta­tion Agency (NOA), NAFDAC and min­istry of in­for­ma­tion have been man­dated to lead cam­paigns that will ex­pose the dan­gers of con­sum­ing the im­ported poul­try prod­ucts.

The Nige­rian Cus­toms Ser­vice was equally charged by the House’s res­o­lu­tion to up its sur­veil­lance on the con­tra­band prod­ucts so as to rid the coun­try of haz­ardous prod­ucts. In com­mem­o­rat­ing World Sight Day to­day Oph­thal­mol­o­gists have called for rou­tine eye check up at least once a year to pre­vent avoid­able blind­ness.

Speak­ing to Daily Trust in Abuja, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor and Con­sul­tant Oph­thal­mol­o­gist of Florida Eye Clinic, Abuja, Dr Stephen Chibueze Ume said the ma­jor causes of vi­sion loss in the coun­try are pre­ventable if de­tected early.

Dr Ume said the ma­jor and most com­mon cause of blind­ness in Nige­ria is cataract which if de­tected early, can be man­aged.

The Oph­thal­mol­o­gist also said there are other more se­ri­ous causes like Glau­coma of which when vi­sion is lost from glau­coma, it may be re­gained.

Gover­nor Aminu Waziri Tam­buwal re­ceives the re­port of the com­mit­tee on re­vamp­ing of Sokoto Pri­mary Healthcare Agency from the State Head of Ser­vice, Muham­mad Ba­ture Shinkafi, at Gov­ern­ment House Sokoto yesterday.

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