The smuggling of poultry products into Nigeria is costing the country about NGN532 billion (US$2.7 billion), said Ayoola Oduntan, president of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN).

Oduntan’s estimates were shared at the 2015 Nigeria Poultry Summit.

The country has to rely on imports to meet the demand for poultry, as Nigerian farmers are able to produce about 300,000 metric tons annually, while there is a nationwide demand for more than 2 million metric tons, reported AllAfrica.

Of the 1.7 million metric tons needed, Oduntan estimates that smuggled chicken accounts for 1.2 million metric tons annually.


Smuggled poultry and health risks

The smuggling of poultry products into Nigeria also hurts, as it poses concerns about food safety.

Citing the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Oduntan said: “It has been discovered that smuggled poultry products contain high levels 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 realizing 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.”