The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has revealed that over 1.2 million metric tons, MT of poultry meat is smuggled into Nigeria from Benin Republic.
The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele who described the development as unfortunate, pledged that the apex bank under his leadership would stop it.
The governor identified the poultry sub-sector as the most commercialised of all Nigeria’s agricultural sub-sectors with a current net worth of about N1.6 trillion.
Emefiele, made the statements at a meeting with Vice Chancellors of Universities on the University-Based Poultry Revival Programme in Abuja on Monday.
The governor represented by the CBN Deputy Governor on Economic Policy, Dr Okwu Nnanna, said the sub- sector contributed about 25 per cent of Agricultural GDP to the Nigerian economy.
He explained that the population of chickens was about 165 million, which produce approximately 650,000 Metric Ton and 300,00MT of eggs and meat all together.
According to him, the demand situation is estimated at over 200 million birds, while the demand for eggs and meat are about 790,000MT and 1,500,000MT, leaving a huge demand gap which unfortunately, is met through smuggling.
“I am aware that the Nigerian poultry sector faces high production costs, safety concerns due to lack of sanitary controls and technical constraints in processing and marketing.
“Production costs are generally high due to lack of an integrated and automated industrial poultry sector.
“Poultry producers lack reliable access to inputs including chicks and feed as well as high costs of veterinary services.
“More importantly, is the problem of lack of access to low cost, long tenured finance, which though is not peculiar to the industry but even others, and will be resolved.
“In spite of these constraints, there remains a huge potential for the industry in Nigeria. The demand for poultry products is expanding as a result of population growth.”
According to him, the Nigeria population is projected at 400 million by 2050 and 280 million are projected to live in the cities, significantly increasing the demand for poultry products.
“Also, per capita consumption of chicken is still very low at 2.5kg in Nigeria, when compared to Brazil and South Africa at 30kg and 40 kg.
“The per capita consumption of eggs in Nigeria is 60 eggs per annum compared to 250 to 300 eggs per annum in most advanced countries” he explained.
Emefiele added that the school feeding programme of the present administration also remained a huge potential yet to be fully tapped saying that the poultry represented an important source of high quality animal protein.
“In order to address this gap and unlock the potential of Nigerian poultry producers, the CBN has initiated a programme to boost poultry production in Nigeria and various institutions have been selected as part of the pilot team to run a University-based Poultry Revival Programme.
“The initiative will produce chicken meat and egg to reduce importation and close the existing demand and supply gap as well as to raise a new crop of agropreneurs in modern poultry production.
“This project will also provide infrastructure that will support the sustainable production of poultry; and reduce pressure for foreign exchange demand through import substitution by local poultry production” he said