The Ogun State Government, South West Nigeria, has confirmed the existence of toxic ponmo laced with chemicals across markets in the state, asking residents to be careful and watchful while buying the popular local relish.
According to the state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Ronke Sokefun, due to the huge market potential of this commodity, some unscrupulous businessmen seemed to have imported the animal skins laden with tanning, biocides and fungicides into the country.
She revealed that the ponmo were made from raw hide meant for leather production and were imported from Europe and some countries like Sudan, Italy and Japan.
Although no casualty has been recorded so far, the Commissioner insisted this ponmo is not good for human consumption.
She explained that one of the notable physical features possessed by this toxic ponmo, which has found its way to various markets across the state, is that it comes with an offensive odour with abnormal thickness.
In order to mop up this dangerous ponmo and prevent further human consumption, the commissioner said that the Ogun State Government, in conjunction with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have commenced investigation and placed trail on the importer.
She added that appropriate resources have been put in place to protect residents from falling victim.
Ponmo is a local relish made from animal skin. It is loved by many Nigerians; poor and rich despite its low nutrition value.