By Ed Malik, A | September 20, 2022

The federal government has expressed a desire to sponsor a legislation to prohibit the consumption of animal skin, popularly called ponmo, in the country, saying the move is to boost production of leather in the tanneries.

Muhammad Yakubu, Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST), Zaria, stated this in Abuja, on Sunday 18th September.

Yakubu opined that the legislation is to give a legal backing to the operation of leather industry and also, to resurrect the almost extinct leather production in the country.

Furthermore, he said that, since eating animal skin has proven lack nutritional value, there was the urgent imperative to prohibit the consumption in order to save the leather industry from depletion of basic raw material, thereby saving the sector to enhance its contribution to the nation’s GDP.

The NILEST Boss said that the institute is already interacting with consultants and stakeholders to assist in drawing up resource guides with which to approach the national and States’ assemblies to make relevant laws to ban the consumption.

However, Kabiru Musa, a meat seller in popular Ipodo market in Ikeja, Lagos, said, “this people don’t have work otherwise how can eating ponmo now be their problem?!”, he retorted.

Joy Agada, a nutritionist said the proposed ban has not taken into account other factors that makes up nutrition. “Not only the nutritional value but some food that we take are boosters or supportive fillers of the body system”.

Continuing, she said, “for instance, snail has not protein value but people eat it as substitute for beef because it is non-fattening”, noting that the legislation may be difficult to enforce because you cannot control what people do with the remains of edible animals in their houses.”

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