Nigeria has 180 million birds which can meet its poultry needs, and has no need for imported poultry or poultry products, the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) has disclosed. According to NVRI's Executive Director, 120 million of the birds were rural poultry in backyards, while 50 million birds were commercial poultry in formal poultry outfits. Nigeria has recently been seeing a lot of frozen foreign poultry products illegally smuggled into the country, where they are sold at a lower price than domestically produced poultry. In response, the country launched Operation Hawk Descend, during which customs officers have seized thousands of packets of illegal poultry. Nigerian officials have also suggested that the illegal poultry is less safe to eat, because of possible breaks in the cold chain and avian
influenza. According to the Director, Nigeria does not need to import poultry because more Nigerians were investing in the industry, making the country more self-sufficient. He emphasized that, the ban on the importation of poultry and poultry products is in order and should be strictly enforced to encourage local production. Furthermore, he encouraged poultry producers to see the ban as an opportunity to promote self-sufficiency, more local wealth and employment. Nevertheless, in order to secure quality of local poultry products, transportation of birds within states require necessarily sanitary certificates. In
addition, Nigeria poultry sector needs structures on the final markets for birds to receive and catalogue such documentation, thus simplify the traceability of bird’s origin.