The “ponmo debate” is set to continue in Nigeria as a scientist has warned that consumption of animal hides and skin can be injurious to health.
Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of Leather Science and Technology (NILEST), Zaria Dr Isuwa Adamu gave the warning in Abuja on Tuesday, while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
“…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,” said Adamu.
“Some of these skin diseases are such that boiling them ordinarily, may not kill the bacteria,” he added.
According to him, some of the animals killed may even be undergoing treatment – sometimes with chemicals – for some ailments. These chemicals may not be allowed to complete its cycle and be removed from the body before being killed, Adamu noted.
“So, if you consume the ponmo, the tendency is that you are consuming the chemicals directly because the skin part of the animal retains most of the harmful substances.
Adamu said NILEST was putting efforts into sensitising the public and advising the government on policies that will help reduce the consumption of animal skin, popularly known as ponmo in the country.
According to him, if the government can put policies in place to reduce the consumption of ‘ponmo’, not only will lives be saved, but it would also enhance the availability of quality hides and skin to meet the demands of tanneries across the country.