An agribusiness entrepreneur and chief executive officer of Hamza Farms Nigeria, Hamza Abdullahi, has initiated a radical move to petition the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment (FMTI), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the Supreme Court of Nigeria (SCN) over the continued increase in the prices of poultry feeds by feedmillers across the country, despite the lift of the ban on maize importation.
The petition call made available to stakeholders in the poultry industry and signed by Hamza Abdullahi who is also the PAN zonal coordinator, Karshi 1, Nassarawa State reads:
“I write to draw the attention of all stake holders to the recent actions of the Nigerian Poultry Feed Millers who have continuously increased the prices of our chicken feeds over the past 4-5 months without any concrete reasons.
This price increment started in April 2020 when the Central Bank of Nigeria placed a ban on importation of maize which led to scarcity of raw materials for feed production. The Poultry Association of Nigeria Nassarawa State Chapter started a campaign to lift the maize importation ban, the ban was lifted in August 2020 and some companies such as Wacot, CHI, Golden Penny etc, were granted permission to import maize into the country.
Currently, the price of maize has dropped significantly as a result of the lift on the importation ban and also availability of locally produced maize as time of harvest has come.To our greatest surprise, the feed millers have continued to hike the prices of Chicken Feed even until this day with almost 85% increase between April 2020 and November 2020.
The Nigerian Feed Millers should be sanctioned in order to address this issue. The price of Eggs has only increased with just about 10-20% since April 2020. The poultry farmers cannot continue to increase the price of chicken eggs and frozen chicken especially now that the Nigerian citizens are facing economic crisis. If we continue to hike the prices of our products, who will buy them?
It was on this note that I present this petition for your kind consideration.”
The petition was initiated on the popular website www.change.org which is reputed for bringing about several issues to the attention of the relevant authorities. A minimum number of 100 signatories are required for the petition to sail through to the next stage. As at the time of filing this report, 64 persons have signed the petition.
One of the petitioners, Dr Mafe Allen, a veterinarian from Jalingo stated his reason for signing as follows:
“I’m signing because the increase in price of feeds in Nigeria is no longer tolerable. It has become difficult for most farmers to make profit. The price is already above the purchasing power of most Nigerian farmers”.
Corroborating Dr Mafe’s view, a petitioner from Abuja, Alawiyya Kuliya Umar wrote, “It is stifling our farms and there is a limit to how far we can translate the increase on our products”. Furthermore, Ameh Alelo, a petitioner from Abeokuta bluntly wrote, “I am signing because I am a stake holder. The actions of the millers association is leading to closure of some farms and lost of employment.”
It will be recalled that the Federal Government had in July 2020, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) placed a ban on the importation of maize into the country, to encourage local production, and strengthen the economy by preventing further falling in value of the naira post-COVID19. However, many perceived this as a hasty decision which lacked adequate preparations or contingency plans, as it led to massive inflation and hike in price of feeds due to scarcity of the raw material (maize). However due to public outcry and pressure from several quarters including the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), the government then approved four selected companies to import maize from August to October 2020.
It is left to be seen how this petition will fare, as more revelations are likely to emanate in its course. Whatever the outcome, one hopes that the advancement of the nation’s economy, livestock industry and food security will remain paramount. LIVESTONEWS.