The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono says the federal Government is considering banning fish Importation by year 2022 to encourage local production and boost revenue. The Minister made this statement in Abuja when he received a delegation of National Fish Association of Nigeria (NFAN) lead by the president of the Association, Dr. Gabriel Ogunsanya.
The Minister said in line with the agenda of the present administration to boost Agriculture and be self sufficient in food, his Ministry will tap into the potentials available in fisheries and aquaculture that will made fish readily available for both exportation and local consumption.
Nanono noted that the federal government has put in place vehicle that will actualise the plan, saying this is a field that both private sector and the government can join hands to promote the venture because the money that goes into fish importation in Nigeria is outrageous.
He said last year, the ministry issued about one million licenses while this year was cut into half of the previous, he added.
He added, by next year the ministry will further cut it down to ensure the gradual withdrawal from the importation so that in the next two years the domestic production will be enough for the country consumption.
Subsequently, by the year 2023 license for fish importers will be denied and that will give room to boost domestic production, the minister added.
Nanono further explained “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.
The minister acknowledged that the fish now has an export market; he advises the group that if they put their heads together and work hard, fish market in Nigeria is very lucrative.
In his remarks, Dr. Ogunsaya commended the minister for his commitment to moving Agriculture to the next level while called assistance in some areas.
He solicited the Minister to actively involve his members in their training programs of his ministry and other relevant agencies.
In his statement, “we need a letter of introduction to CBN, NIRSAL, BOI, 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.