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New CBN Forex Policy Threatens N12trn Poultry Industry – Operators

The over N12 trillion, including 20 million jobs created in Nigeria’s poultry industry, is facing collapse following the new forex policy and the lift in the ban on imported poultry and processed poultry products by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

This was the concern expressed by the industry’s key players, the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), yesterday.

A statement issued by the director-general of PAN, Onallo Akpa, and the national president, Sunday Ezeobiora, in Abuja noted that the recent announcement by the CBN has heightened the fears of the farmers and investors in the poultry industry and compounded the already collapsing production in the sector.

Earlier this year, PAN expressed similar concerns, pointing to the huge negative impact of the naira redesign policy and the high cost of raw materials, especially maize and soybean, in a country that has stifled poultry production, leading to the closure of over 30 percent of the farm enterprises and the downsizing of about 50 percent of the capacities of other poultry farms across the country.

The association further lamented that the CBN’s new forex will make Nigeria revert to pre-2000, when it was completely a dumping ground for all sorts of imported poultry products.

However, the PAN leadership requested immediate action by the government to maintain the import restriction policy on frozen poultry products and eggs, engage with the association to make available needed raw materials, and request an immediate funding program to prevent the industry from collapsing.

They also called for a clear narrative on the removal of restrictions on forex allocation for poultry products, a critical examination of multiple taxation on poultry production enterprises and products, as well as the strengthening of synergy and fiscal incentives for strong consultation and collaboration among government agencies and stakeholders.

The statement reads in part: “The implication of the recent policy of the removal of forex and the further explanation by the CBN that the products were not even banned in the first place contravenes the fiscal policy of the government and has obviously created an unacceptable impasse in poultry development.

“The projections for the poultry industry in Nigeria are very bleak, as the over 12 trillion naira industry is about to collapse. This will obviously result in the loss of the jobs of millions of Nigerians employed in the industry, negate the fight against food insecurity, and grow the local economy."

“Most poultry farmers are failing to repay loans on facilities from banks for the expansion of their farms and, of course, the attendant toll on poultry farmers and investors that are thrown into confusion and out of business because of the current trends of things”.

Source: Leadership Online Newspaper

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