Naira crises threaten Nigeria’s N12 trillion poultry sub-sector
Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) has again raised alarm that the N12 trillion poultry industry is at the bridge of collapse. The reason is not unconnected with the negative impact of the Naira redesign policy and high cost of raw materials, especially Maize and Soybean in the country that has stifled poultry production, leading to the closure of over 30 per cent of the farm enterprises and downsizing of about 50 per cent capacities of other farms across the country.
PAN feared that if urgent steps are not taken soon, jobs of millions of Nigerians employed in the industry are threatened, which it claimed would negate the fight on food insecurity and growing the local economy.
Moreso, the body lamented that poultry farmers are failing to repay loans facilities from banks for the expansion of their farms with attendant toll on poultry farmers and investors that are thrown into confusion and out of business because of the current trends of things.
PAN in a statement signed by its National President, Sunday Ezeobiora and the Director-General, Onallo Akpa further lamented that the recent announcement by the CBN lifting of ban on importation of poultry products have further heightened the fears of the farmers and investors in the poultry industry thereby compounding the already collapsing production in the sector.
The association however, called on the government to 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 to the industry but also to the entire Nigerian economy.
They also called on the government to immediately work with the association towards making available needed raw materials like Maize and Soya to revive the collapsing farms.
As the most capitalised sub-sector of the agric industry, the association requested for an immediate funding programme to the sector so that the industry does not collapse and the country becoming a dumping ground for all sorts of poultry products from abroad with the attendant rise in unemployment due to loss of millions of jobs.
While stressing the need for a clear narrative by the government on the pronouncement by the CBN that restriction was been removed on forex allocation for poultry products and other items, PAN noted that the gains recorded by the poultry industry in the last 20 years couldn’t be eroded in a jiffy by market economy deregulation.
The body further called on the Joint Tax Board to look into the issue of multiple taxation on poultry production enterprises and products by the various States Internal Revenue Boards or Agencies with the possibility of abolishing all unnecessary taxes on food by either the revenue collection agencies or taskforce saying the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have great roles to play in this matter.