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PRESS RELEASE ON CURRENT POLICY AND FISCAL SEIGE ON THE POULTRY INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA: THE INDUSTRY ON THE VERGE OF TOTAL COLLAPSE.

The Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has been a key partner with the Federal Government in the development of the agricultural ecosystem in Nigeria and the fight for food security. The Poultry Industry has been very appreciative of the support of the Government to the continued development of the Nigerian Poultry industry, especially in maintaining the import restriction policy on frozen chicken into Nigeria even though there are still some skirmishes and pockets of smuggled poultry products into our various markets in the country. This collaborative partnership with the Federal Government over the past 15 years have led to the tremendous growth and development of the poultry industry.

The poultry industry has remained the most commercialized sector of the livestock industry in Nigeria. It contributes over 25 percent of the livestock agricultural gross domestic product (LAGDP).

The poultry industry is worth over 12 trillion naira and provides over 20 million direct and indirect employment to Nigerians! The industry has for the last five (Five) years, remained the No. 1 egg-producing nation in Africa and the No. 5 in Broiler Meat production in Africa.

It is therefore incomprehensible that an industry with above-average capacity and prospects that contributes enormously to national development would be totally unconcerned by the necessary policy and practical framework. 

While the leadership of the association clamors for more POLITICAL WILL from the government to enshrine a sustainable poultry development policy with a clear-cut action plan, the recent development from the Poultry Association of Nigeria pronouncement from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will make Nigeria revert to the pre-year 2000, when Nigeria was completely a dumping ground for all sorts of imported poultry products. Recall the cases of unhealthy frozen poultry meat stored with chemicals imported into the country.

The implications 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 contravene the fiscal policy of the government and have obviously created an unacceptable impasse in poultry development.

This recent announcement further heightened the fears of farmers and investors in the poultry industry and compounded the already collapsing production in the sector.

You will recall our earlier press releases pointing to the huge negative impact of the Naira redesign policy early this year and equally the high cost of raw materials, especially maize,  soybeans, in the country that has stifled poultry production and led to the closure of over 30% of the farm enterprises and the downsizing of about 50% of the capacities of other poultry farms across the country. This has, of course, led to a huge gap and has impacted pricing.

Members of the press, the current reality, and projections for the poultry industry in Nigeria are very bleak! The over 12 trillion naira in the industry is about to collapse! This will obviously result in the loss of the jobs of millions of Nigerians employed in the industry negating the fight against food insecurity and growing 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 is that they are thrown into confusion and out of business because of the current trends of things.

URGENT ACTION IS REQUIRED NOW!!

The poultry industry in Nigeria remains a critical subsector of Nigerian agriculture, and allowing the industry to collapse under the watch of Nigerians in situations where there are visible immediate solutions will be a disaster for the industry and the protein supply and nutrition security of the country.

In light of the above, the leadership of the Poultry Association of Nigeria requests IMMEDIATE ACTION by the government and prays as follows:

* The government should maintain the import restriction policy on frozen poultry products and eggs, as any attempt to succumb to pressures from anywhere will spell disasters not only for the poultry industry but for the entire Nigerian economy.

* Immediate engagement with the Poultry Association towards making available needed raw materials like maize and soya to revive the collapsing farms, as the poultry industry is the most capitalized subsector of Nigerian agriculture.

* The association requests an immediate funding program for the sector so that the industry does not collapse and the country once again becomes dumping grounds for all sorts of poultry and poultry products from abroad, with the attendant rise in unemployment due to millions of jobs lost. This calls for a clear narrative by the government on the pronouncement by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that restrictions have been removed on FOREX allocation for poultry products and other items. The gains recorded by the poultry industry in the last twenty years cannot be eroded in a jiffy by market economy deregulation.

* The issue of multiple taxation on poultry production enterprises and products by the various states' internal revenue boards or agencies should be critically looked into by the Joint Tax Board, with the possibility of abolishing all unnecessary taxes on food by either the revenue collection agencies or task forces. The Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have great roles to play in this matter.

* There should be synergy and fiscal incentive strengthening for strong consultation and collaboration among the various organs and agencies of government and the critical stakeholders towards robust planning, decision-making, and implementation of government actions. The existing policy ambiguities that tend to create acrimonies among government agencies and industry operators need to be smoothed and strengthened.

The poultry industry remains the low-hanging fruit of this government's action on food security. We remain the most commercialized sector, providing employment to over 20 million Nigerians, providing the cheapest source of rich protein to end malnutrition, ensuring gender balancing in employment and the provision of trade to women and youths, and stabilizing the national food security of the nation by boosting the other sectors of agriculture production and agronomy, which contribute over 25% of the livestock agricultural gross domestic product of the national economy.

We remain committed to contributing our quota to the development of the Nigerian poultry industry as part of our contribution and work towards the food security situation of the country.

Great Farmers, Great Nation!

SIGNED:

  • Chief Ichie Sunday EZEOBIORA - National President, PAN

  • Dr. Onallo S. AKPA - Director General, PAN

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