Nigeria plans to ban fish importation by 2022-Minister
London, Feb. 5, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Nigerian government is considering banning fish importation in to the country by 2022 with a view to protectand further encourage local production
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono who made this known while receiving a delegation from the National Fish Association of Nigeria (NFAN) said time had come for Nigeria to look inward to tap into the huge potential in fisheries and aquaculture for local consumption and export.
He noted that measures were already been put in place by government to actualise the plan.
“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 said. He further said, “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 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 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.
News Agency of Nigeria, NAN reports that the minister assured the association of the government’s readiness to assist where necessary to move the industry forward.
Earlier in his remarks, the President of NFAN, Dr Gabriel 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.
He said, “we need a letter of introduction to CBN, NIRSAL, BOI, BOA for timely intervention to boost the fish 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. We also kindly pray that the minister looks into reactivating dormant fishery terminals, fish markets, hatcheries and develop brood stock bank for identified fish species and privatise the for utilisation of NFAN members.”
The president equally urged the minister to direct research institutes to embark on demand driven researches to benefit the entire industry as well as measures to be put in pace to support commercial fish production from along the value chain for both local and export markets.