The Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has been urged to ban the importation of egg powder or increase the tariff drastically to discourage dumping of the product on the country, stimulate home production of the powder and develop the poultry value chain.
Those making the call hinged their argument on the response of chicken and rice producers to the demand driven by the closure of the borders against rice importation and smuggling. Estimated quantity of rice produced locally has been put at over 8 million tonnes as against over four million before the policy implementation. Also, the egg stakeholders said the billions expended on importation of egg powder by industrial food processors could be available for other purposes. Data indicates that food processing industries in West Africa spend over $2 billion yearly on the importation of egg and milk powder products. Nigeria is said to spend $1billion on egg powder imports alone. The price of whole egg powder in the international market is N1.1million per tonne.
However, Professor Funso Sonaiya, a poultry value chain development expert in the Department of Animal Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, said though he did not believe in a total ban of importation of egg powder into the country, tariffs could be raised to protect and encourage the local processors of eggs into powder. Competition with international products, he said, would help Nigerian producers to standardize their products, urging more Nigerians, and particularly poultry investors, to see great opportunities in egg powder investment and processing. Guardian