Poultry imports into Nigeria were banned starting in 2003. While Nigeria dropped a lot of bans on imports of other products in the 2000s (WTO 2011), the government kept the ban on imports of live or frozen chickens, with the exception of day-old chicks (Sahel Capital 2015; PIND 2013). A decade after the chicken import ban, debate continues over whether and why Nigeria is or could be able to supply its large domestic demand for chicken. Some think one reason is that there is a huge volume of smuggled imported frozen chickens over porous borders with Benin and lack of government assiduity to fully implement the import ban (USDA 2014). But there is huge variation over estimates of how much smuggled chicken is coming into Nigeria. Some say most of the 14.2 million birds reported imported into Benin in 2014 are thought to make their way into Nigeria (Hinshaw 2015). Others put the number vastly higher: the Poultry Association of Nigeria claims 725 million frozen chickens are slipped past the official import ban (The Poultry Site 2015a); Sahel Capital (2015) thinks it is 635 million frozen chickens.


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