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The federal government of Nigeria claims it is putting up legislation that would outlaw the consumption of animal skin, known locally as Kponmo (or wele as known in Ghana).
On Sunday in Abuja, Muhammad Yakubu, director-general of the Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST), made this statement. He claimed that the legal action was essential to reviving the nation’s dead leather sector.
To save the industry and strengthen the economy of the country, he suggested ending the practice of eating animal skin, which has little nutritional value.
The director-general further stated that the institute would approach the national parliament and state governments to introduce legislation outlawing the consumption of “ponmo” in cooperation with industry partners.
“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 said.
Instablog9ja is quoted as saying the consumption of animal skin is partly responsible for the present comatose state of tanneries in Nigeria. He also said the current National Leather Policy had addressed some fundamental problems of the sector.
“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.”
Yakubu appealed to stakeholders to support the legislation and the national leather policy to revive the sector.