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Lagos impounds ‘N10m worth of poisonous ponmo’

Lagos impounds ‘N10m worth of poisonous ponmo’
May 06
20:23 2019

The Lagos state ministry of agriculture says it has impounded N10 million naira worth of “poisonous cow skins”, popularly known as “ponmo”.

A statement by Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, director of public affairs, quoted Oluwatoyin Suarau, commissioner for agriculture, as saying the “poisonous cow skins” were about 30 tonnes.

Suarau said a monitoring exercise by the combined team of the state taskforce on environment and special offenses enforcement unit and officers of the Nigeria police discovered the factory where the “poisonous ponmo” were stored at College Road, Igando.

According to him, bonfire made from Jamaica rubber used in processing cow skins emits “thick toxin smoke” which is harmful to health.

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He added that the ministry had set up an investigation committee to identify the source of the “poisonous ponmo”.

“The factory and activities of the ‘Ponmo’ processors constitute a health risk not only to processors but to residents of adjoining communities. The health effect of burning rubber alone is enormous let alone that it used to process human food,” he said.

“Besides, the source of the animal hides used for the ‘Ponmo’ needs to be ascertained to be sure it is fit for human consumption. Six persons connected with the poisonous ‘Ponmo’ were arrested in the raid and are in police custody.

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“We are investigating the source of the poisonous ‘Ponmo, while the ministry has set up a monitoring and investigation committee headed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Olayiwole Onasanya, to get to the source of the poisonous ‘Ponmo’ and dislodge factories and illegal abattoirs where they are being processed.

“This committee will work with relevant government agencies to fish out any other illegal ‘Ponmo’ processing factory and illegal abattoir whose activities pose a great danger to the public.”

The commissioner promised that the ministry and the state government would not rest on its oars to ensure hygienic meat and meat products are fit for human consumption.

He warned illegal operators of abattoirs and cow skin processing factories to desist from the criminal activities before the law caught up with them, saying the state has zero tolerance for unwholesome foods vendors.

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