The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has urged the Federal Government to maintain the total ban on importation of frozen chicken for the poultry industry to expand, reduce unemployment, and boost the economy.
Mr Ezekiel Mam, President of PAN made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
Mam who thanked the government for the ban added that besides destroying the economy and denying employment opportunities for the youth, the imported chicken was hazardous to health.
“We have been advocating for a sustained ban on imported frozen poultry meat because most imported frozen poultry meat products are hazardous to ourselves and health.
“When you are importing anything, it means you are taking your money outside and then creating unemployment, but by the time we use our local chicken, the multiplier effect is so great.
”It enhances the purchasing power of the people because their income will increase,” he said.
The president explained that when people were employed, they became taxable, adding that the association was interested in increasing the country’s other sources of revenue instead of sole dependence on revenue from petroleum.
“Therefore, the more we get people employed, they are eligible to pay tax and as well eligible to increase their living conditions.
“So, it is very important for the government to maintain this ban so that the poultry industry will continue to expand,’’ Mam noted.
He further described the importation of frozen chicken as inimical to the expansion of maize, soya, rice, wheat and groundnut production.
The president said that poultry farmers were the major users of the products.
“When the ban on importation is sustained, we are empowering the maize, soybeans, wheat, groundnut, and rice farmers among others,’’ he said.
According to Mam, by so doing, Nigeria’s currency would be stronger since her external reserve would be boosted with less dependence on importation.
The president, who described importers of frozen chicken as smugglers and economic saboteurs, urged the government to ensure that the perpetrators of the act were prosecuted and got the maximum punishment.
He added that if they were prosecuted, such punishment would deter others from venturing into the crime of economic sabotage.