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•Rivers seeks support for agro-business

By Godwin Oritse

THE Norwegian Seafood Council, NSC, has offered to assist Nigerian fishery sector with a view to building capacity in the sector.

Speaking at the just concluded Seafood Seminar organised by the Council in Lagos, Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Knut Lein, said that Norway has made the offer to Nigeria but the country has not come forward to open discussion with the host government.

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Ambassador Lein also said that it was only Nigeria that can tell what area they need to build capacity adding that whenever Nigeria comes forward to say what they need, Norway will keep its doors opened.

He said: ”What are the needs Nigeria has for capacity building, we have offered to assist, but the Nigerian officials have not gotten back to us. Norway is open to offer capacity building and the Norwegian government has offered to enter into discussion with the government of Nigeria about the possible capacity building assistance within the fishery sector.”  

Stakeholders at the seminar were particular about what can be exported to Norway from Nigeria so that vessels that carry imports from Norway to Nigeria do not go back empty.

  Rivers seeks assistance

Meanwhile the Rivers State government has concluded plans to seek the assistance of the Norwegian government to grow its agro-business sector particularly its fishery sub-sector.

Speaking to Journalist in Lagos, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Paleno Banigo, said that the State wants to grow its local fishery industry adding that every assistance from any quarter will be welcomed.

Banigo also said that the State needs technical assistance so as to improve on what the locals in the fishery business are doing.

 She said: “The last time the former Ambassador visited Rivers State, Governor Nysom Wike mentioned a few areas where we needed assistance in aquaculture and requested for the partnership with the Norwegian government in the area of training and in the development of the fishery sector in the State.

“So we want to benefit from their knowledge and expertise and their technical  knowledge to improve our own local fish farmers so that they can do better”.

She was of the opinion that Rivers State can fill the fish deficit gap in Nigeria if the necessary assistance were given to grow the sector.

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