- FG to Stop Fish Importation by 2022
In a bid to encourage local production, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, has said the Federal Government may ban importation of fish by 2022.
Nanono made the statement while receiving delegates from the National Fish Association of Nigeria led by Dr Gabriel Ogunsanya, the association president.
The minister said it is time for the nation to type into its huge potential in fisheries and aquaculture for growth and export.
He explained that in 2019 the ministry issued about one million licenses to fish importers, this he said would be cut down to about 500,000.
The minister said: “Last year, we issued about one million licenses. 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.
“Since you are producers and probably processors it is important to take note of your development in the fish sector towards this.”
He further stated that, “In the next years, probably we will not allow the 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 they 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 an 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.
Ogunsanya, the President, NFAN, in his statement said, “the National Fish Association of Nigeria is the umbrella body for all fisheries and aquaculture industry value chain in Nigeria.
“It has the mandate and responsibility of bringing together every farmer and industry operator groups to obtain or share useful business information and training.
“The association was established by the Federal Government to play such roles long other things. “We have carried out several advocacy enlightenment and training activities and programmes for both the existing and upcoming fish farmers, producers and processors.
“We have undertaken business development promotion engagements with MDAs and development partners including the CBN, NIRSAL, NEPC, SON, Quarantine and Raw Materials Research Council.
“Also, between Sept. and Oct. last year, we met with the AUIBAR Consultant on fisheries from Nairobi as well as the Cultivating New Frontier in Agriculture (CNFA), the prime implementing partners of USAID’s Feed the Future Project in Nigeria.
“All efforts in this regard are geared toward repositioning the industry and better the lot of the farmers and stakeholders.”