Ponmo treated with industrial chemicals, dangerous, NAFDAC warns Nigerians, probes merchants
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has said it intercepted large quantities of dangerous animal hides and skins, popularly known as Kpomo, from seven merchants in Lagos.
The Director-General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, warned members of the public, particularly the consumers of ponmo, against the activities of some unscrupulous businessmen and traders, who were selling industrial animal hides as food items.
The agency’s investigation and enforcement officials swiftly carried out intelligence gathering around certain locations, where the product was warehoused and being sold.
This was in response to the several complaints received from the public, pertaining to the alleged sale and distribution of imported hides and skins meant for use in leather industries and which had already been processed with industrial chemicals. These hides and skins were then sold to unsuspecting animal skin products, otherwise called ponmo.
“Monitoring was also extended to some buyers, who patronized the sellers and custodians of the warehouse”.
Adeyeye said preliminary investigation revealed that some of the hides and skins were being imported illegally and diverted to some merchants, who re-process them and sell them as consumable ponmo to members of the public.
“In the light of these discoveries, the DG said the agency recently conducted investigative raids on some identified locations in Lagos State, where market women and men were found clustered to purchase leftovers from the warehouses.
“She disclosed the large the large quantities (120 tonnes) of the product were intercepted at six different locations, stressing that seven suspects who were alleged to be involved in the acts are currently under investigation.
“The NAFDAC boss further explained that samples of the products had been sent to the laboratory for testing so as to ascertain the quality and unwholesomeness. According to her, the intervention will help the agency to deal with the interaction and the dangers associated with the consumption of such products.
“The Street value of the product currently intercepted was estimated to be around N25.33m only”.