Activities of Chinese smugglers sabotaging Donkey business in Nigeria- Group

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By Victor Akaa, Abuja.

The Coalition of Four Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Donkey Dealers Association have called for stringent regulatory measures that will checkmate and curtail the smuggling activities of Chinese nationals in the Donkey business in Nigeria.

They made the call at news conference organised by Donkey Dealers Association in conjunction with Civil Society Organisations, in Abuja on Monday.

In their separate remarks, the National Chairman, Donkey Dealers Association,Mr Dike Ifeanyi said the direct investment of Chinese nationals in slaughtering and exportation of donkey in Nigeria was not only hampering the business but has direct adverse effects to the Nigeria’s economy.

According to him, the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari must create proper regulatory framework that will safeguard the N60 billion investment in donkey business in Nigeria.

Mr Ifeanyi said, activities of Chinese smugglers over the years have continued to sabotage the business ,noting that adequate regulation will checkmate and boost the business in the country.

He urged the President to empower the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS) to enforce the regulation in the business in order to end the smuggling activities of Donkeys by foreign nationals in Nigeria.

He also called for the support of the citizens towards checkmating the activities of the smugglers in the business.

“It is very important to note at this point that the effect of smuggling of donkey being harnessed from Nigeria to China is becoming so worrisome.

“It is having a multiplier effect in the economy of this country.

“The NAQS came out with a very robust and regulatory framework as it is obtainable in other countries in Africa and the world.

“They talked about the ranching, they talked about the breeding and going into pasture of this animal to avoid the morbid fear of a situation like it had been propagated by the donkey sanctuary.

“We want to use this opportunity to let Nigeria know that any attempt to gag the power of the NAQS doing a very wonderful work in this regulation is an indirect way of encouraging smuggling.

“So we are crying to the President to come and save our investment of more than N60 billion,’’ he said.

In his remarks, Mr Christian Achem whilst speaking on behalf of the CSOs , condemned in strong terms the slaughtering and exportation of Donkeys in Nigeria by the foreigners.

Mr Achem, who is the Assistant Secretary General of the Coalition also reiterated that, their Organisations’ stance against the current spate of activities with the Donkey Slaughter and Exportation in Nigeria cannot be compromised.

He recalled that, on March 21, President Buhari had directed that foreigners should stopped from going into the forest to engage in direct purchase and slaughter of donkeys in Nigeria and wondered why the practice is still operational.

He said the memorandum was duly forwarded to all the relevant stakeholders in the agro business, including the Ministry of Agriculture, and blamed the ministry for failing to properly implement the directive.

“We invite the Presidents of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammad Buhari, the Nigerian Senate and the House of Representatives to immediately commence a thorough investigation into the allegations that NAQS collected several millions of naira as bribe from the Chinese nationals, to secure their illegal release.

“Donkey slaughter and exportation has no doubt become a juicy economic platform that is capable of injecting N60 billion into the Nigerian economy by way of direct investment.

“It is also capable of getting over 250,000 Nigerians direct and indirect employment.

“This economic potential of the sector can only be fully harnessed if the sector is well regulated to serve Nigeria’s best interest.

“This period when the country’s economy is in a near meltdown, we expected the government of the day to take advantage of this economic-promising sector to make a strong case for the revitalisation of our economy.” he noted

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