Seme Customs Destroy Truck-load of Donkey Skin


Odjegba Eguono

The Nigeria Customs Service, Seme Command last week, buried  quantities of decaying fresh donkey skin that was seized by the enforcement unit of the command.

The Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Mohammed Uba who led officials of other sister agencies including the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) and Port Health for the destruction of seized donkey skin which in local parlance is called ‘pomo’, warned the general public to guard against eating food the source of which they are ignorant of.

He said the destruction of the product is sequel to a standing order by the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali, retired,  to seize time-bound edible products like meat and frozen poultry. This is to be disposed of in a timely manner, to avert outbreak of  epidemic.

Seme NAFDAC Coordinator, Dr. Nurudeen Audu explained that the seized pomo has been preserved with a chemical substance known as formaldehyde used for the preservation of dead bodies, which makes the seized product unhealthy for human consumption.

Audu lamented that hides and skin products for industrial uses are allowed to be imported provided they pass through official checks and approval, which used to be the norm until unscrupulous businessmen began to smuggle the product.

He said, “Before now, imported hides and skins meant for our textile industries and tanneries used to pass through government agencies like NAFDAC. The importers inform us ahead and when they arrive, we examine and release based on their industrial needs. 

"But now unscrupulous business people have gotten involved, they use formaldehyde used for preserving dead bodies to keep them afresh, and unfortunately a lot of Nigerians buy this with their money. It is not safe for human consumption.”

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