National President, Poultry Association of Nigeria Ayoola Oduntan has revealed that Nigeria spent N660 billion to import 1.2 million metric tonnes (MT) of frozen chicken.
According to him, the figure was four times greater than local output and exceeded the industry capacity of 650,000 MT. Oduntan, who puts Nigeria’s poultry demand at 1.5 million MT annually, disclosed that the industry produced 300,000 MT in 2014.
Speaking at a workshop in Abuja, tagged: ‘The Economic and Health implications of Smuggled Poultry Products’, he said: “As at 2014, locally-produced chicken production, estimated at 300, 000 metric tons, a capacity utilisation of 46 per cent in an industry that boasts of 650,000 MT.”
“Also, 1.2 million metric tons of frozen chicken (N660 billion, equivalent to $2.75 billion) was imported.
“This was four times greater than what was produced locally and exceeding the industry capacity. A clear point here is that local poultry industry is far reaching its growth elastic limit.”
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He added that the industry could create jobs if the activities of smugglers were regulated, noting that reducing smuggling by 30 per cent would result in one million jobs in 12 months.