Lagos State Government has sealed off the cow skin (popularly known as ponmo) processing section of the Oko-Oba abattoir and Lairage Complex in Agege. A statement by the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Toyin Suarau, states that the closure of the ponmo section and dislodgment of the processors became necessary because of the health hazards inherent in the unhealthy manner those processing the cow skin employed.
“The ponmo processors use heaps of burning tyres, thereby, emitting thick toxic smoke into the air endangering residents of the adjoining neighbourhood. This bonfire emits a thick toxic smoke which spreads from within the complex to adjoining neighbourhoods, endangering the lives including those of the processors themselves. I wish to make it clear that the use of tyres for cow skin processing was reported to the State government sometime ago and was dealt with.
The return to this unhygienic method of processing in the complex leaves much to be desired and this is why the state government has closed the ponmo section of the complex” he said