The Poultry Association of Nigeria has said that Nigeria loses about $2.7 billion (about N532 billion) annually in revenue on account of smuggling of poultry products into the country.
President of the association, Ayoola Oduntan, stated this while speaking during the 2015 Nigeria Poultry Summit, adding that smuggling of frozen poultry into Nigeria was a major challenge to the sector.
Oduntan noted that local demand for frozen chicken is above two million metric tonnes annually, but Nigerian farmers are able to produce 300,000 metric tonnes only, leaving a gap of more than 1.7 million metric tonnes.
“Out of this figure, smuggled chicken accounts for 1.2 million metric tonnes annually,” he said.
He also quoted the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) as saying smuggled poultry products in Nigeria was partly responsible for several cases of digestive and intestinal health issues among consumers.
“It has been discovered that smuggled poultry products contain high level of bacteria. Also, toxic chemicals and solvents are used in preserving them so that their owners can get them into our country to be sold at prices cheaper than we are selling.
“NAFDAC, in realising this, has agreed to embark on a nationwide campaign to inform all Nigerians that smuggled chicken is not acceptable for their good health; they should consume Nigeria-produced chicken,” Oduntan said.
Meanwhile, the Chinese general administration of customs says officials seized frozen chicken wings, beef and pork, some more than 40 years old in raids across China.
It said on Wednesday in Beijing that officials raided 14 outlets to remove more than 100,000 metric tonnes of illegal frozen meat, worth $480 million.
The administration said smugglers generally buy the meat at knockdown prices from foreign countries, deliver it to Hong Kong via refrigerated containers, and then move it into Mainland China through Vietnam.
A customs expert also disclosed that the smugglers usually hired residents in border areas to move the products to Chinese border cities.
Zhang Tao, a Changsha customs official that took part in the raid, said the smelly products filled an entire compartment.
“The stench from it is deadly; it is smelly, and I nearly threw up when I opened the storage door,” he said.
Tao said more than 130 suspects were arrested in raids on 14 provinces and regions.
He said the smuggled meat, not only poses serious health risks but also circumvents taxation.
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