FG Set To Clampdown On Ilegal Smuggling Of Poultry Product

The federal government has said it would soon commence the onslaught on poultry product smugglers because of its negative effect on poultry industry and the hazard it poses to human health.

Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Heineken Lokpobiri, who stated this during his visit to Amo Farm Sieber Hatchery (AFSH), Awe, Oyo State, during the week, said government is also taking the war to sellers of smuggled poultry products, to reduce the menace to its barest minimum.

Amo group of companies has Amo Byng Nigeria Limited, Diversay Solutions Limited, Natnudo foods Limited and DSL farmers, as its subsidiaries.

Lokpobiri, who described the farm as the biggest indigenous poultry facilities, lauded the farm’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Ayoola Oduntan for creating jobs for over 2,000 rural dwellers, noting that government has set up a committee, headed by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, to explore all possible avenues to tackle smuggling.

“It is either we kill smuggling or smuggling kills us. This administration, under President Muhammadu Buhari is ready to kill smuggling because of its negative effect on poultry industry. We are working very closely with your Group Managing Director and other stakeholders, to see how we can use multiple approaches to address this problem.

“FG is not only taking the war to smugglers alone, but also sellers of smuggled poultry products. In the next few weeks, we would be going to cold rooms to ask them how they got their stocks, “he said.

The Minister gave assurance that government would complement efforts of the farm in the area of motorable roads, provision of potable water for host community and other infrastructure, noting that he would ensure they are part of the 2018 budget.

In his address, the GMD, lamented the effect of the economic meltdown on the farm, saying it lost over two million Day-old-chicks due to low patronage. He added that increase in the price of maize with regards to stabilisation of prices, unavailability of grain all year round, are some of the serious challenges facing the industry.

FG Packages Bailout for Nigeria’s poultry Farmers

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, is leading an urgent effort by the Federal Government to bailout poultry farmers now confronting various challenges.

The poultry industry has had to contend with a number of challenges including an outbreak of Avian Influenza which affected almost 4 million birds in 2015, non-allocation of Foreign Exchange for the importation of needed machinery and other critical inputs, and high production costs in the industry.

Prof. Osinbajo who had met with members of the Poultry Association of Nigeria last week Thursday, summoned another meeting today, where relevant ministers and agency heads came together to fashion out how to bail-out the industry.

“The poultry industry is a local industry that needs to be protected urgently,” the Acting President said at the meeting where specific measures were tabled and considered on how the FG can be of help.

He said the industry should be a major plank of the agriculture sector and asuch the Buhari administration will ensure that it gets help regarding the challenges being faced by operators of the sub-sector.

He added that by supporting the local industry, poultry related importation which is currently a drain on the country’s Foreign Exchange could be a thing of the past.

In his remarks, Dr. Ayoola Oduntan, who led the delegation of the Poultry Association of Nigeria to present industry challenges to the meeting, noted that poultry presently contributes 25% of the Agricultural Gross Domestic Product of the Nigerian economy amounting to N1.6Trn. He added that Nigeria is rated as the number one egg-producing nation in Africa, and number 4 poultry meat producer in the continent.

The FG is now in the process of concluding decisions on specific lines of action targeted at the challenges facing the industry, a sub-sector that is said to generate over 14 million direct and indirect jobs in the country.

Present at the meeting were the Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Agriculture & Rural Development Minister of State Heineken Lokpobiri, Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali, rtd, and the Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele.