The federal government says it is proposing legislation to ban the consumption of animal skin, locally known as ponmo, in the country to revive tanneries.

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.

He claims that the current status of the tanneries in Nigeria is mostly due to the consumption of animal skin. He added that several basic issues facing the industry had been addressed under the present National Leather Policy.
The people in Nigeria won’t have any trouble finding pomo to buy and eat if we get our tanneries, footwear, and leather production running smoothly. When completely executed, it would revive the majority of the paralyzed tanneries and increase productivity.

In order to revitalize the industry, Yakubu pleaded with stakeholders to support the legislation and the national leather policy.