Hides and skin merchants urge FG to check pricing modalities of multinationals

Malam Muntari Haruna, a hides and skin trader in Malumfashi, Malumfashi Local Government Area of Katsina State, on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to checkmate the skin pricing modalities of multinational companies in the country.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Malumfashi, Haruna called on government to support their business and to also recognise it among the trades with high job creation opportunities in the country.
Haruna stressed that the absence of government’s desired attention and encouragement was hindering the growth of the business, especially in the rural areas.
He described the business as one that continues all-year-round, saying that it provided jobs for millions of Nigerians.
Haruna noted that hides and skin traders deserved to benefit from the federal government’s interest-free loan schemes and urged it to also facilitate the development of more indigenous leather processing schemes in the country.
He explained that such initiatives would enhance the growth of the business, to enable it be of benefit to more Nigerians in both rural and urban settlements.
According to him, the absence of traders’ unions, as well as approved company agents and dealerships, were detrimental to the business.
He said that because of abnormalities in the business, small and medium-scale traders recorded minimum gains, while the maximum gains were hijacked by a few indigenes and foreigners with huge investment, who could afford to export the commodity.
Haruna explained that the prices of hides were usually lowered by the big companies during festivities such as Eid el-kabir, when demand for animal skins was usually high because of the number of animals slaughtered.
He said that the period was the peak for small-scale business owners to obtain high gains, but the companies lowered their prices during the period, while most business owners could not afford long storage of the commodity.
In other interviews, Malam Usman MaiFata and Alhaji Abubakar Sada, both dealers in hides and skin in Funtua, described the absence of coordination among the traders as a hitch to the growth of their businesses.
They called for increased collaboration between government and the stakeholders in the business, for the establishment of more competitive markets, noting that in most cases, trader’s records were usually lost to uncertainties and fluctuating prices.
The dealers said that at present, a piece of small animal skin sells for between N800 to N1000, while cow skins cost between N5,000 to N8,000 each.

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