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Why Obasanjo wants FG to protect poultry industry, restrict importation

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo wants the federal government to close its doors to those who want to make the country a dumping ground for all…

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo wants the federal government to close its doors to those who want to make the country a dumping ground for all sorts of poultry products.

Chief Obasanjo made the call at the 2nd Nigerian Poultry Summit organised by the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) in Abuja.

The former president, who is also a poultry farmer and the grand patron of PAN, the national organization representing all poultry farmers, said the sector has the greatest potential to create millions of jobs in the nation and needs to be safeguarded by all levels of government.

He said the poultry industry is a major source of nutrition security in many countries, adding that those “countries make sure that they pay attention at the government level, and the private sector level, to the sustenance of poultry as an industry as something that will give job opportunities, alleviate poverty and create wealth.”

He emphasized that government must “not open the market for others to come and dump their products here.”

According to him, government at all levels need to figure out how to handle the industry’s problems with drugs and feeds, which have become more costly as a result of the naira’s decline in value relative to the dollar.

Obasanjo also urged the public sector to consider different approaches to assist the private sector to prevent the collapse of the poultry industry and to collaborate in addressing the issues.

“Our government should know that when the poultry industry is thriving, there would be employment opportunities, there would be alleviation of poverty, there would be creation of wealth, there would be skill acquisition and there would be others that would benefit like the soybeans and maize farmers in the country,” he said.

The minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Dr Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, who declared the summit open, said the country’s poultry industry “is adjudged the most commercialised component of the livestock subsector contributing over 25% of the agricultural GDP.

“It boasts of employing about 25 million people in both direct and indirect jobs.”

He said government at the highest level was already working on a possible solution to the crisis facing the industry to avoid total collapse.