Three factories which specializes in importing cow hides popularly known as ponmo, located along Unity Avenue, Ijagemo; Sosanya Street, Ijegun; and Adedayo Ayodeji Street, WAZOBIA Bus Stop, Abaranje, all in the Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, have been shut down by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC.
The ponmo factories were accused of using a chemical for embalming corpses for preservation.
One of the facilities’ owner, Isaac Nwaebo was arrested after he tampered with the agency’s seal on his premises. Confirming the arrest, Deputy Director, Intelligence Unit, NAFDAC, Mr Francis Ononiwu said;
“When we first called at Nwaebo’s factory last week, there was a large quantity of hides; it appeared as if he just had his delivery. We decided to lock up the place and placed our seal on the door. When we came to check the place on Tuesday, the hides had all been removed. He has to explain how and why the hides disappeared from the place we locked up.
“There are so many imported hide factories in Lagos. The hides are preserved with the same chemical used for embalming corpses. They are not safe for human consumption. We have been fighting them and we will get to them anywhere they are.”
It was further gathered that residents of Adedayo Ayodeji Street, had protested the continued activities of one of the factories in their area, adding that the stench from the hide processing was unbearable.
The residents, who pleaded not to be named, told Punch that the factory usually burns and washes the hides in the open environment, adding that they had now resorted to drinking sachet water and fetching water from other communities for other domestic uses.
In a letter to the Director-General, NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, dated May 17, 2019, the residents pleaded with the agency to visit the factory with a view to stopping its activities.