By Mercy Omoike
Lagos – Following the land border closure by the Federal Government, some frozen chicken traders have lamented low patronage in Lagos State.
The traders made this known in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.
Mrs Kemi Adelusi said that Nigerians still preferred the imported frozen chicken because of its hard texture but for the good of the country, the borders should remain shut.
“People still prefer the imported frozen chicken because it is hard in nature.
“They complain about the locally processed chicken because it is quite soft.
“You cannot cook our locally processed chicken for long because it may lose its taste in the process, you can only parboil it or roast it.
“The land border closure has really affected my business in the sense that the imported frozen chicken has become very expensive.
“The price of imported frozen chicken now goes for N13, 800 and turkey is N14, 000 as against the former price of N10, 500 and N12, 000 respectively.
“Although people still patronise the local chicken when it is available but they have reduced the quantity they purchase. If they could afford one kilogramme before now they can only afford half a kilo.
“In my opinion, I would rather the border remains closed so we can patronise our local agriculture produce. It is better for the country.
“If our poultry farmers can produce more of the old layers, we will not miss the imported chicken and it will be better for our poultry industry,” Adelusi told NAN.
Another trader popularly known as Iya Ahmed said the border closure had affected their sales as she pleaded with the government to open the borders pending when “we have surplus poultry that can sustain us’’.
“The closure of the border has affected a lot of things as regards our business of frozen chicken. Everything is now expensive following the land border closure.
“We have been asked to patronine locally processed chicken to sell to our customers but we do not even get it to buy. The locally processed chicken is not even available.
“We would be glad if they can do something about this border closure; if we have everything surplus in the country, then the government can go ahead and close the borders.
“Our customers are complaining of the cost of frozen poultry but there is nothing we can do about it. We would want the government to open the borders.
“If they want the border to remain closed, they should ensure everything is in surplus, the government should have mercy on us.
“If Nigerian poultry is in surplus, available and affordable, what else do we want? We will patronise our local produce.
“The government should have mercy on us,” she said.
Another vendor known as Alhaja Raliat said she had stopped the sale of imported poultry following the border closure and would resume only when the borders were reopened.
“Since the closure of the border, I no longer sell frozen chicken. Presently I only sell frozen fish to my customers.
“If we can get access to locally processed chicken and it okay I will patronise them. Look into my freezer, for now I only sell frozen fish.
“I have heard of where they sell locally processed chicken, but on getting there, I noticed it was very soft and my customers will not like it.
“For now I am no longer selling frozen poultry until the government deems it fit to reopen the border,” she said.