Emefiele: Demand for Chicken Meat, Eggs Outstrips Current Supply

Hammed Shittu in Ilorin

Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said that despite Nigeria being the largest producer of eggs and the second largest producer of chicken meat in Africa, demand gap for eggs and meat stands at and outstrips current supply by 1.2 million metric tonnes and 140,000 metric tonnes for meat and eggs respectively.

Emefiele stated this in Ilorin, Kwara State capital at the weekend, during the official inauguration of N600m  University of Ilorin (Unilorin) GgMAX Integrated Commercial Poultry Farm funded under the CBN Tertiary Institutions Poultry Revival Scheme(TIPRS).

According to him, “The Nigerian poultry sub-sector is a trillion naira industry with huge potentials for individuals and national socio-economic development.”

He said, “With over 180 million chickens under intensive, semi-intensive and extensive production systems, it provides affordable and broadly acceptable meat and eggs to meet our national protein needs.

“Over the years, this demand gap has driven the smuggling of unhealthy frozen chicken into the country.

“To close this gap, the Central Bank of Nigeria has introduced various intervention schemes focused on boosting poultry production, creating decent jobs, fostering innovation in the poultry sub sector.

“One of such schemes is the Tertiary Institutions Poultry Revival Scheme that was conceptualised specifically for tertiary institutions to design and implement viable poultry projects.

“Today, we witness the commissioning of the first project to be funded and completed through the scheme.

“It is certain that the laudable objectives of the scheme including improving revenue of tertiary institutions, employment creation and enhancing research into poultry by tertiary institutions are already being realised.”

Emefiele, who was represented at the event by the Deputy Director and Secretary to Agricultural Credit Guarantees Scheme Fund  of CBN, Mr. Edwin Nzelu, added, “The 0.6 billion funding provided through Zenith Bank at a single digit interest rate of five per cent has led to the construction of broiler and layers pen and cages; procurement of over 50,000.00 birds, feed milling equipment, processing machinery and other ancillary poultry amenities.

“Presently, over 40 tertiary institutions have expressed interest in the scheme through different commercial banks to implement various projects.

“Such deep and broad interest by Nigerian Tertiary Institutions will definitely culminate in sustainable development of the Nigerian poultry industry, I enjoin other tertiary institutions to key into the scheme in order at the broad-based benefits are realised for all.”

Emefiele noted further that, “the event is expected to encourage other similar institutions across the country to follow the University of Ilorin example which no doubt will create jobs, practical experience for agriculture students and additional income layer for institutions.”

Also speaking at the event, the Vice Chancellor of University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem Age, said that “The journey for this project started for us in September of 2019 with the invitation by the CBN to bring up a proposal for the revival of the poultry sector in Nigeria using the universities as vehicle.

“This was later expanded to include all tertiary institutions in Nigeria, both private and government owned.”

According to Age, “The journey has been long and hard for us as a university. The university took a N600m loan from the CBN at a concession interest rate of 9% (5% for the first one year) and a repayment period of six years, with a moratorium on the repayment of the principal for one year.

“Zenith Bank Plc is the Participating Financial Institution- PFI) on this project. Accessing the loan required the university to pay Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the project.

“This process took us 18 months to accomplish, as the whole arrangement was novel to all concerned. Eventually, the loan sum was released to the university through Zenith Bank Plc in February of this year.”

He added that, “Construction started on the 30-hectare farm in the first week of February and to the glory of the Almighty, by the middle of May, the farm was in a state to receive, 17,000 Layers.

“Today, the farm has fully built Broilers’ pens with a capacity for 5,000 birds each and another two of similar capacity, under construction, to raise the the installed capacity to 40,000 Broilers; four fully built Layers’ pen currently housing 17,000 layers though with an installed capacity 33,000; a Feed mill with an installed capacity of 5tons/hour: a pen automated Broiler Processing Unit (BPU) with a capacity to produce 1,000 birds/day, and a Manure Processing Unit.

“At the height of construction, the site had over 200 artisans who earn their daily sustenance from it. Today, the farm has 55 full employees and has created space for our students to work on part-time basis as they study.”

Age also said that, “The farm is also expected to contribute to food security in bridging the wide gap between the demand for poultry products, the supply brought on largely by the ban on importation of E -products.

“Importantly, the university will see a huge leap in its  Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), making money available for critical aspects of the university operations, especially in the areas of research, and physical development.”

Related Articles