Following the seizure of 30 tonnes of poisonous ponmo worth about ₦10 million, on Sunday, Lagos State Government has set up a monitoring and investigation committee; to uncover the source of the cowskin.
Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Taskforce on Environment and Special Offences Enforcement Unit and officers of the Nigeria Police Force seized the ponmo presumed to be poisonous and unhealthy for human consumption.
The illegal cowskin processing factory was uncovered at College Road, Igando, Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos.
The committee, headed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Olayiwole Onasanya, was charged to get the source of the poisonous ponmo, as well as dislodge factories and illegal abattoirs where they are being processed.
Commissioner for Ministry of Agriculture, Oluwatoyin Suarau, after the inauguration, appealed to relevant federal government agencies in charge of border patrol to step up activities to prevent the entry of poisonous foods and food products into the country.
“This committee will work with relevant government agencies to fish out any other illegal ponmo processing factory and illegal abattoir whose activities pose a great danger to the public.
“We will not relent on our oars to ensure that only hygienic meat and meat products are available in our abattoirs and market for human consumption.
“I, therefore, seize this medium to warn operators of illegal abattoirs and ponmo processing outlets to desist from their criminal activities or risk facing the full weight of the law,” he warned.
The commissioner also urged members of the public to be vigilant and report any suspected activities and sales of unwholesome foods and food products to the nearest local government office or the ministry.
Suarau reiterated the commitment of the government to food security, noted that the zero tolerance against the distribution of unwholesome foods and all forms of food poisoning is still in full force.
He stressed that the government will always do the needful to ensure that only wholesome and healthy foods are available for consumption in the state.
“It is necessary and we will always monitor the whole process of food handling and distribution until it gets to the final consumers.
“This committee would work with relevant government agencies to fish out any other illegal ponmo processing factory and illegal abattoir whose activities poses a great danger to the public,” he said.