- …Insists local farmers can meet national demand
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, says following Federal Government’s effort to encourage local production, Nigeria may stop fish importation in 2020.
The minister made this known while receiving a delegation from the National Fish Association of Nigeria (NFAN) led by its National President, Dr Gabriel Ogunsanya in Abuja.
Nanono said time has 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 being put in place by the government to actualise the plan.
According to him,’’ this is an area that we can join hands to promote fish production. We have to seriously reduce importation of fish into the country.
“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 do not do well here.
“But I know for a fact that the consumption of catfish is very high in this country, 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 heads together and work hard, the future is very bright for fish producers in this country,” he said.
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. (NAN)