*faces one million job loss, asks FG to relax ban on maize importation
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Poultry Association of Nigeria, (PAN), on Tuesday raised alarm of imminent collapse of Poultry Industry in Nigeria as a result of the ban placed on importation of maize .
Raising the alarm at a press conference held at the Oyo state NUJ, through the Oyo state PAN Chairman, Mr Agboola Gbemisoye said the Poultry industry now on the brink of a dangerous precipice may lose about N1trillion this year and annually and as well as witnessing one million job loss. Mr Gbemisoye emphasized that there is no doubt in the fact that the present dearth of maize in Nigeria presently threatening the survival of poultry industry in the country, adding that something has to be done by the government to help salvage the industry as well as prevent imminent collapse of poultry industry.
The PAN Chairman emphasized the need for the Federal Government to relax the ban on importation of maize to rescue the nation’s poultry industry pointing out that the ban is ill-timed considering the fact that “there is dearth of maize in Nigeria as of now”, arising from ploys by some individuals that “are agent of destruction and mean capitalists set to hijack the industry, squeezing out life and existence from poultry farmers .”
According to him, “as we speak, Agencies and individuals in the name of the Local and State Government agencies are making daily trips to poultry farms to harass farms for several illicit and other arrears of levies, taxes etc. We know every government supports agriculture globally for obvious reasons but not so in our own Oyo state”, .
TThe covid-19 lockdown has sent several farms to early grave and some poultry concerns already on the verge of collapse. The price of maize which was N80/kg in March 2020 has crept to N180/kg today and is still increasing. That cannot be said of the price of poultry products. As if that is not enough, we now have the ban on importation of maize.
“Poultry Association of Nigeria, Oyo State Branch is using this opportunity to call on Mr. President to relax the ban on importation of maize for a period, to use this time to release the grain reserved across the country and to release all available palliatives to cushion the effect of maize scarcity to teeming suffering grass root farmers”, he said
Oyo PAN added, “this is to allow this essential grain to be available for feed production while we increase local production to meet up with the demand of maize. This appears to be the only way out and the most assuring pivot that the government is serious in revamping agriculture in this country”.
“We know that some individuals are feeding the presidency and state government with false information that the country has enough maize as of now to satisfy the demand of both human and livestock, but the present hardship has proven this wrong. There is dearth of maize in Nigeria as of now! These individuals are agent of destruction and mean capitalists set to hijack the industry, squeezing out life and existence from poultry FARMERS.
“They know that importation is the only way their monopoly can be broken, hence their vehement opposition of the move. They claim the ban on importation of rice has paid off, yes! But they forgot that maize and soya are the only grain and seeds consumed by both humans and livestock. Only rice bran is fed to livestock, not the grain. We at least need succor till the next set of maize yet to be planted will be ready’.
The association then urged President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Seyi Makinde to please use their “good offices to prevail on masquerading principalities, powers and authorities antagonizing the importation of maize as a way of subduing our industry, thereby subjecting poultry FARMERS to unwarranted hardship and sufferings.”