Maiduguri - Some stakeholders in Borno have said that the Boko Haram insurgency has virtually crippled the hides and skin business in the state.
Mai Zannah, the Manager of the Maiduguri Abattoir, said hides and skin used to be in abundance in the state, but regretted that the situation had changed because the state’s leather company had stopped operation.
“The company stopped functioning because of the insurgency.
"Our abattoir alone produces about 500 skin of various animal skin daily for the leather companies, but we no longer sell them here; we take them to Kano for the Tanneries there to buy," Zannah said.
He also lamented that the insurgency had adversely affected trading in leather production for shoe-making companies; bones for plate making and preservation of blood for animal feeds.
"We used to make good sales from skin of cow, cattle, rams, sheep and camel, but now, insurgency has virtually crippled the business.
"Most of our people usually take the animal skins to other states to sell because the Maiduguri Naital Shoe-making Company that was patronising us had stopped operation because of the Boko Haram insurgency," the manager said.
Garba Haruna, the Chairman, Borno chapter of Leather and Allied Products Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (LAPMAN), also said that the Boko Haram uprising had adversely affected leather business in the area.
Haruna said the union was, therefore, ready to partner with the state government to resuscitate the trade as soon as the security situation in the state improved.
Also speaking, the General Manager of the Maiduguri Neital Nigeria Ltd., Usman Tomsu, said the company was owned by the state government.
Tomsu said the company was established in 1982 with finished leather and shoe making machinery.
He said the company was making shoes and tanning animal skin, but that it had been moribund for nearly two decades until Governor Kashim Shettima injected funds to enable it resume operations in 2013.
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“The over N500 million returned profit recorded by Neital Nigeria Ltd. in the 2013 fiscal year was the first major profit made since its establishment 32 years ago.
"The company operated for barely 10 years without making profit before it finally went comatose until it was resuscitated by the Governor in 2013, after an assessment visit in 2012.
"But because of the persistent security challenges coupled with power outages, we had to close down our operations. Now, we no longer get animal skin from our abattoirs.
Isah Bagudu, a dealer in animal skin in Bulumkutu area, also complained about the lull in the business and blamed it on the Boko Haram mayhem.
"The business has virtually stopped in Borno because of the Boko Haram insurgency.
"The Maiduguri Neital Nigeria Ltd. which mostly patronised our animal skin has closed down because of the insurgency; we now buy the skin, transport it to Kano and sell it to the tanneries there,’’ Bagudu said.