Reps divided over ban on chicken importation
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.