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Nigeria to stop fish importation by 2022 – Federal Govt

Catfish in Fish Farm

Alexander Davis

In its renewed move to diversify the economy and encourage local production of the product, Sabo Nanono, the Honourable Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, has said Nigeria may stop fish importation in 2022, agency report has said.

ConsumerConnect gathered that Nanono disclosed this while receiving a delegation from the National Fish Association of Nigeria (NFAN), led by Dr. Gabriel Ogunsanya, its National President, in Abuja.

According to the Minister, the time has come for Nigeria to look inwards to tap into the huge potential in fisheries and aquaculture for local consumption and export.

In terms of implementation, he noted that measures were already being put in place by government to actualise the plan.

This is an area that we can join hands to promote fish production. We have to seriously reduce importation of fish into the country, he declared.

“Last year, we issued about one million licences. This year, I virtually cut it into half.

“I hope next year we will further cut it so that in the next two years, we may rely entirely on what we produce here (in Nigeria).

“Since you are producers and probably processors, it is important to take note of your development in the fish sector towards this,” he said.

Nanono added that in the next years, probably we will not allow importation of fish into the country.

“I know people are saying we can only rear catfish, tilapia, and a few other species but most of the white fish do not do well here.

“But I know for a fact that the consumption of catfish is very high in this country, both the fresh one as well as the smoked one.

“In fact, I was made to understand that it now has export market. So, if you put your head together and work hard, the future is very bright for fish producers in this country,” he said.

He, therefore, assured the association of the government’s readiness to assist where necessary to move the industry forward.

Dr. Ogunsanya, while commending the Minister for his commitment to moving agriculture to the next level, called for assistance in some areas.

He urged the Minister to involve members of the association in training programmes of the ministry and other relevant agencies.

“We need a letter of introduction to the CBN, NIRSAL, BOI and BOA for timely intervention to boost the fish industry production business in Nigeria.

“We also pray for the minister to guarantee loans and credit facilities for the purpose of business expansion.

“The association also needs a letter of introduction to the 36 state governments and the FCT, Abuja,” Ogunsanya said.

He also solicited the minister to pay attention to reactivating dormant fishery terminals, fish markets, hatcheries, and develop brood stock bank for identified fish species and privatise the for utilisation of NFAN members.

He urged Nanono to direct research institutes to embark on demand-driven researches to benefit the entire industry.

Dr. Ladan Aliyu, Deputy National President and National Vice- Presidents, representing North West, North East, South South and South East, as well as other Executive members, including Chief Chidike Uko, National Publicity Secretary were part of the NFAN delegation.

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