Jeffrey Adaralegbe, Nigeria
The National Steering Committee on Leather and Leather Products Policy Implementation Plan, in collaboration with Lagos State Government and other key players in the Leather industry holds a four day summit to further discourage Nigerians from the consumption of raw hides, popularly called Ponmo in Lagos. The event Tagged “Ponmo Summit 2023’’.
The Chairman of the Steering Committee and Director General, Nigerian Institute for Leather Science Technology, NILEST, Prof. Mohammed Yakubu, who noted that the country could not continue to waste the important economic resource explained that the summit was part of the engagements to stop the eating of ponmo.
Statistics from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture show that out of the 15 million cattles slaughtered annually in Nigeria, 13.2 million raw hides from the animals end up as ponmo, while just one point eight million are used as leather production input.
“We were here last year and we got so much support from the Lagos State government, that’s why we chose to kick-start the campaign for us to stop the eating of ponmo, we are engaging those in the ponmo business to see how we can integrate them, if they don’t do ponmo business, which business can they engage in, particularly in the Leather Value Chain, that’s the reason why this campaign is starting in Lagos State, which I think is the centre of ponmo eating in Nigeria”, Yakubu said.
The NILEST boss stressed that the leather industry can help diversify Nigeira’s economy, the divisional head, SME-South at the Bank of Industry, Mr Obaro Osah stated that low interest finance is available for those who want to engage in the business.
On his view, the Vice President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Akin Kupoliyi, urged the relevant government agencies to educate Nigerians on the accruing benefits in the Leather industry to effect the urgently needed change