By Caleb Ayansina
NASARAWA— Fishermen, on the platform of Fisheries Cooperative Federation of Nigeria, FCFNL, have decried zero allocation to fish production as a major reason for massive importation of fish in Nigeria, thereby costing the country 100,000 jobs and millions of dollars in foreign exchange annually.
FCFCN called on President Muhammadu Buhari to demonstrate political will to develop the fish sector by providing all necessary incentives towards self-sufficiency in fish production.
The President of FCFNL, Anthony Ashagye, lamented that in spite of the vast fisheries and aquaculture resources in the country, Nigeria remains the highest fish importer in Africa with an estimated 950 metric tons of imported frozen fish, valued at over N100 billion annually.
Speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the federation, made up of 37 fisheries cooperative unions in Nigeria, Ashagye said: “With our natural endowment, Nigeria can achieve self-reliance in domestic fish production.
“We also believe that with the right policy and incentives, Nigeria can stop fish importation, conserve over N100 billion annual fish import bills, become a net fish exporter rather than importer and earn significant amount of foreign exchange as in the case with many emerging economies of the world.”