FG intends to ban ‘ponmo’ in order to revitalize the leather industry

The Federal government has announced that it would propose legislation to prohibit the eating of animal skin, colloquially known as ‘ponmo’, in the country in order to revitalize tanneries.

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

According to the Agricultural Research Institute Act of 1975, NILEST was established to enhance leather manufacturing. The institute conducts research on leather manufacturing and products, as well as the use of native tanning materials in the country.

Yakubu, who stated that the litigation was essential to resurrect the country’s dormant leather industry, also stated that the practice of eating animal skin, which has no nutritional value, should be discontinued in order to save the business and strengthen the nation’s economy.

The Director-General further stated that the institution, in partnership with industry stakeholders, would contact the national parliament and state governments to propose laws prohibiting ‘ponmo’ usage.

He said, “To the best of my knowledge, Nigerians are the only people in the world that overvalue skin as food, after all, Ponmo has no nutritional value.

“At one point, there was a motion before the two chambers of the national assembly, it was debated but I don’t know how the matter was thrown away.”

He also stated that the current National Leather Policy had addressed some of the sector’s core issues.

Yakubu said, “If we get our tanneries, our footwear and leather production working well in Nigeria, people will hardly get pomo to buy and eat.

“When implemented fully, it would turn around most of the comatose tanneries and ginger greater output in production.”

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