Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), says it stands to lose about N3 trillion over government’s restriction order on vehicular interstate movement to curb the spread of the COVID-19.
The PAN President, Mr Ezekiel Ibrahim, who
disclosed this during a press conference on Friday in Maiduguri, said the
measure was à threat to the country’s food security.
He said that food security had a major role in
national development and sustainable of the economy.
He said that Nigeria was currently not secured
in terms of production because “the number of hungry Nigerians keeps increasing
by the day’’.
“This includes other factors such as low food
production, increasing population, herders crises, insecurity and post- harvest
losses,” he said.
Ibrahim said that since food and protein were
very essential to human health and survival, government should lift the
restriction on the movement of vehicles conveying such critical poultry
products like Day Old Chicks, meat, eggs, poultry feeds and drugs, daily needed
by all Nigerians.
“At the moment, we are facing the most
difficult period of our national lives with the outbreak of COVID-19.
“We should however thank God for giving President
Muhammadu Buhari the wisdom to initiate the policy of producing locally what we
eat without which the food security of the country could have been threatened.
“We imagine what the situation could have been
today if we were to rely on import of basic food items when the major source of
our revenue that is petroleum product have recorded setbacks at this period
that the entire world system is in chaos, confusion and epidemic.
“While the above is considered as very urgent
and utmost for the continued supplies of protein to Nigerians, we implore
government to also grant some palliatives to egg and day old chick producers
who are unable to sell commodities as a result of the lockdown.
“Not left out are also the input suppliers and
other categories of farm service providers who are critical to the food security
survival of the country.
“As an association of poultry producers, we
are fully in support of Federal Government on all measures taken so far to
improve the economic health of the nation and to curtail further spread of the
“We are in support of the closure of all the
airports and the land borders,” he said.
Ibrahim appealed to poultry farmers across the
country to observe bio-safety measures not only in their farms but in the
entire poultry production value chain so that the poultry industry might not be
confronted with any other challenge of strange disease outbreak.