16 February 2006 at 10:04 pm #4109
From report on Nigerial poultry trade in 2002:
At present, a majority of the poultry meat imported into Nigeria enters the country illegally and evades duty payment. Most imported frozen poultry are being supplied by European exporters, such as the Netherlands, France and Belgium. U.S. poultry meat comes enters this market occasionally. Prior to the ban, legal poultry imports were discouraged by the GONâ€™s decision to increase the duty from 55 percent to 75 percent in January 2001. Nigerian traders routinely buy from importers situated in neighboring countries. Despite the large import volumes of frozen poultry in CY2001, the Nigerian Customs Service has no record of any importer who shipped products legally and paid the required duty. Frozen poultry enter through Nigerian borders without official payment of duties. Additional costs are however, incurred in unofficial payments to Nigerian border officials (unofficial payments have increased following the announcement of the ban). After purchasing at a cold storage facility in the neighboring country, boxes of chicken are ferried across the border on the heads of laborers. After clearing the border point, the chicken is reloaded onto trucks or other vehicles and moved to interior consumption points. Imported chicken often is transported and handled without refrigeration, with food quality and safety becoming a major concern.
The recent outbreak of bird flu in the country must not be seen in isolation but in line with other variables confronting the poultry sector in the country. The pigeon that brought the disease to the country is traceable to Canada. Economic sabotage cannot be ruled out in the whole saga. The infection is found at just two poultries in Kano and Kaduna States. The north produces only two per cent of total chicken consumption in the country. The occurrence in an area that produces two per cent should not be made to affect other areas where the incident is yet to be recorded. The clamour by some people that our borders should be thrown open to importation of chickens is very suspicious. These are people who profit from smuggling of poultry products into the country. They want to cause confusion in the country and create a panicky situation. They are not happy with the progress Nigeria is recording in the area of chicken production. In countries that have recorded bird flu, it is only the poultries affected that would be quarantined and the affected birds killed and buried. Records have shown that the birds from the Kano and Kaduna cases were not from registered hatcheries. The outbreak must have come as a result of unprofessional poultry farming practice. If you breed chickens, ducks, turkey etc with animals such as pigs, the rate of infection is high. Also, poultry farm practice in which chickens, ducks etc are reared in an enclosure that have no barriers from where human beings live is dangerous. It is advisable that people do not buy chickens and other poultry product from open markets or across the country’s border because the susceptibility to the disease is high. They should buy from registered hatcheries. This will guarantee quality. Currently, Nigeria supplies the bulk of poultry need in West Africa despite the consumption of two million chickens daily in the country.
Bird flu, a sabotage – Badmus The National Chairman, Poultry Association of Nigeria, Chief Olatunde Badmus, spoke with our correspondent, TUNDE ODESOLA, on the recent outbreak of Bird Flu in the country