New Telegraph

SMEs: Cash crisis threatens sector as egg poultry farmers losses

A major stakeholder in the Nigerian poultry industry and Chairman, Folhope Nigeria Limited, Chief Emmanuel Folorunsho Ogunnaike, has decried the negative impact of naira redesign policy on poultry businesses across the country. Chief Ogunnaike, who made this known in a press briefing in his office in Ibadan, Oyo State, recently, noted that the impact of cash scarcity on the poultry business was enormous. He said: “Poultry business is fragile by nature; any crisis, be it major or minor, will affect the first set of people—poultry farmers. Most especially for the egg producers, we have thousands of crates of eggs unsold as a result of the non-availability of cash in circulation. “Poultry farmers cannot feed their birds; we want the government to intervene in this matter; otherwise, poultry farmers may be sent out of business if things continue the way they are at the moment.

We are still trying to get over the negative impact COVID-19 had on our businesses; many of us are still paying the expenses incurred during COVID-19, and this cash crunch came in. Government should please come to our rescue and do something before it is too late.” While highlighting the negative impact the naira scarcity is having on the business, Ogunnaike stated: “People could not get enough money to buy poultry items, and we are producing perishable products such as eggs. “After 21 days in stock, eggs are bound to become watery. As I have said earlier, it is perish-able, so these are the negative effects. So when you cannot sell eggs, you won’t be able to feed the birds, and if you do not feed them, they will surely die. “Unfortunately, many of us are taking bank loans to run this business. As I have said earlier, we are still struggling to come out of the injury sustained during the COVID- 19 pandemic, and now we are facing another problem, which is naira scarcity. “We are not saying the government should not go into a cashless policy, but they should have given us a very long time to prepare in such a way that people would have been used to the use of PoS, online, and USSD transactions. The government ought to have enlightened the people on the use of these banking platforms because many people are not conversant with these alternative money transactions.” When asked whether poultry farmers received any financial assistance from the government during COVID-19, Ogunnaike said: “I don’t know anybody who claimed to have received financial assistance from any government authorities. “The beneficiaries should be listed with their names, addresses, and locations.” It will be recall that the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) had raised the alarm over the level of havoc the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was causing its members operating in the country’s poultry sector. Indeed, PAN stated that the sector is fast crashing and urgent measures must be taken to revive it upwardly. National President of PAN, Ezekiel Ibrahim told New Telegraph that reports and complaints being received from its members nationwide indicated that the poultry sector was not doing well at all amidst the introduction of New Naira redesigned notes in the country. According to him, it is indeed tough for poultry farmers currently with the introduced new currency swap policy as the prices of eggs are crashing astronomically amid the scarcity in getting feedstock (grains) to feed the livestock birds.

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