The Lagos State Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, State Taskforce on Environment and Special Offences Enforcement Unit and officers of the Nigeria Police Force on Monday, May 7, 2019, said it had seized 30 Tonnes of animal hides and skin popularly known as ‘ponmo’ presumed to be poisonous and unhealthy for human consumption at a ware house located at College Road in Igando community, Lagos Mainland.
According to the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Oluwatoyin Suarau, the special operation which led to the arrest of operators of the factory was based on a tip off by concerned members of the public who became suspicious of activities in the ware house where offensive stench ooze out during the preservation of the consignment.
Suarau explained that the activity of the illegal ‘ponmo’ processing factory poses health and environmental hazard to the public and to the processors themselves.
He stated that bonfire made with Jamaica rubber, which was also confiscated, in the processing of the ‘Ponmo’ emits a thick toxin smoke which spread within the complex and adjoining neighbourhood adding that the smoke and the unhygienic way of processing the cow skin is harmful to human health.
He added that six persons connected with the poisonous ‘ponmo’ were arrested in the raid stressing that they are now in police custody helping with on-going investigation and will be prosecuted in accordance with the law.
Suarau while stating that investigation into the source of the poisonous ‘ponmo’ has since commenced noted that the Ministry of Agriculture has set up a monitoring and investigation committee headed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya to get the source of the poisonous ‘ponmo’ and dislodge factories and illegal abattoirs where the they are being processed.