For many Nigerians the taste of frozen wings and laps of chicken called ‘Orobo’ in local parlance is a delicacy they cherish, but unknown to them there is danger in it for their health.
Most of the frozen chicken in the country are smuggled in through Benin Republic and in the process of illegally bringing the products into the country, the cold chain is broken, thereby the quality of the product is reduced.
Once that that cool chain is broken, the smugglers use the chemical used in preserving corpses to preserve the frozen chicken unknowingly to many Nigeria consumers.
Apart from the health implication of the smuggled poultry products, the local poultry industry is also going under.
Before now, the Nigeria Customs have been accused of not doing enough to steam the tide of the illegal importation of frozen chicken into the country from Benin Republic, but things are changing as the Customs service has set up the battle to sanitise the boarder.
Last week , The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) destroyed about 17,294 cartons of smuggled poultry products worth over N74 million impounded by the service were destroyed in Ikeja.
Speaking before the destruction took place in presence of Poultry farmers, processors and cold room operators,Deputy Controller of Customs, Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ Ikeja,Mr. Ogun IM said smuggling, in whatever guise, is condemnable and a heinous crime against the economy of any nation, particularly ours in Nigeria.
Controller Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, Inuwa Mohammed Abubakar speaking earlier in a meeting with the stakeholders in the poultry sector of the economy, said the Command is at the vanguard of a renewed onslaught to rid the frontiers of the nefarious activities of these smugglers, adding that the supply chain of these poultry smugglers must be blocked to pave way for the indigenous poultry farmers.
While noting the economic lost smuggling constitute to the country, he said they have the mandate of the Comptroller of Customs to rid the country’s boarders of smugglers so as to create jobs for Nigerians as well as provide Nigerians fresh poultry products.
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)’s agriculture sector chairman, Prince Wale Oyekoya, while commending the Nigeria Customs Service for their efforts at ensuring compliance with the Federal Government directives on zero tolerance for the importation of frozen poultry products, said that their members have the capacity to meet local consumption.
He added that what are not consumed in Europe are sent to Nigeria, he urged Nigerians to consume locally processed poultry products as the farmers and processors can meet their needs.