Lagos Confiscates Truckload of Imported Toxic ‘Ponmo’

A truckload of toxic cow skin commonly called ponmo by locals in Lagos has been confiscated by the Lagos State government at Ijegun, a suburb of the state in Alimosho Local Government Area.

It was said that the cowhide was imported into the country by some unscrupulous individuals, but was seized on Monday and those involved apprehended by police in Ikotun.

Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya the cowhide, preserved with certain chemicals for the purpose of being used as leather material, are being sold for human consumption by some criminals prior to their arrest by the police and subsequent confiscation by the state government.

He said the confiscated toxic ponmo, suspected to contain substances that could spread the Ebola virus, has since been transported to the Ministry’s outstation at Johnson Agiri Office Complex, Agege for onward disposal at the medical waste dumpsite in Ewu Elepe, Ikorodu area of the State.

Mr Onasanya explained further that other relevant agencies such as the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and Environmental Health Officers have been duly informed of the discovery and the disposal exercise.

He reiterated the commitment of the state government to step up its monitoring activities with a view to further fishing out the existence of any toxic ponmo in the Lagos markets.

He, however, called on members of the public to be vigilant and report any suspected activities and sales of unwholesome foods to the nearest local government in the State or the State Ministry of Agriculture.

The Permanent Secretary also advised members of the public against the purchase and consumption of food whose sources are doubtful or perceived to be harmful to human health and wellbeing.

Recall that about 30 tonnes of the dangerous ponmo were seized by the state government earlier in the year.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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