The Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST) says it is proposing a legislation to ban the consumption of animal skin, locally known as ponmo, in the country.
The NILEST Zaria’s Director-General, Professor Muhammad Yakubu, stated on Sunday in Abuja that the legislation was required to resurrect the nation’s deadlocked leather sector.
He believed that animal skin consumption, which has no nutritional value, ought to end in order to save the industry and advance the economy of the country.
“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.
The DG stated that the institute would work with industry stakeholders to approach the National Assembly and state legislatures to introduce legislation outlawing the consumption of Pomo.
“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.
According to him, the consumption of animal skin is partly responsible for the present comatose state of tanneries in Nigeria.
“If we get our tanneries, our footwear and leather production working well in Nigeria, people will hardly get ponmo to buy and eat,’’ Mr Yakubu said.
The DG also said that the current National Leather Policy had addressed some fundamental problems of the sector.
“When implemented fully, it would turn around most of the comatose tanneries and ginger greater output in production,’’ he said.
He appealed to stakeholders to support the legislation and the national leather policy to revive the sector.
NILEST was set up to promote leather production as provided in the Agricultural Research Institute Act of 1975.
It conducts research into all aspects of production and products of leather and utilization of local tanning materials in the country.