Processed Animal Skin locally referred to as 'Ponmo'

No Nutritional benefit on Ponmo, FG plans to Ban it

The Federal Government has said it was proposing a legislation to ban the consumption of animal skin, locally known as ponmo, in the country says it has no nutritional value and also to revive tanneries.

Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST) Zaria, Muhammad Yakubu made this known in Abuja while speaking to newsmen on Sunday. NILEST was set up to promote leather production as provided in the Agricultural Research Institute Act of 1975. The institute conducts research, production, manufacture of leather products while utilising local tanning materials in the country.

Yakubu, who said the litigation was necessary to revive the comatose leather industry in the country, said the habit of eating animal skin, which has no nutritional value, should be stopped to save the industry and boost the nation’s economy.

Adamu added that the institute, in collaboration with stakeholders in the industry, would approach the national assembly and state governments to bring out legislation banning “ponmo” consumption.

“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. He said.

“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 said the current National Leather Policy had addressed some fundamental problems of the sector.

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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.”

It could be recalled that the former Director General of the Leather institute Zaria, Dr Isuwa Adamu, made a similar call on October 2014 which warned against the consumption of animal hides and skin known locally as “ponmo”. That the consumption of the product as meat substitute was dangerous to health.

According to the former Director, scientifically, ponmo does not have any nutritional value to human health.

“In fact, it is not advisable for you to consume ponmo in the sense that some of the animals killed and used for ponmo actually have skin diseases.

“Some of these skin diseases are such that boiling them ordinarily, may not kill the bacteria,’’ Adamu said.

He added that some of the animals killed had been ill and undergoing injections but the rearers went ahead to kill them, leaving the buyers vulnerable to chemicals in the animal skin.

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