By Abdul Rahman Bangura–
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Freetown, Sierra Leone- In spite of import restriction, importation of chilled and freezing mackerel has entered N128.8billion ($280million) or 40% of the total annual $700 million fish imports into Nigeria in one year. The West Africa English nation’s major suppliers are Norway, Chile, Albania and United States, as fish shortage in the country stands at 2.5million tones, while production is less than 1.1 million tones.
According to the United States Department of Trade (USDT), imports into the country were affected by essentially fresh, chilled and frozen mackerel, accounting for 40%. It remarked that while fresh, chilled and frozen fish also accounted for the hugest percentage of import values, while imports of dried, salted and smoked fish remained
November2020, data collected by New Telegraph from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)’s shipping stance disclosed that, no limited than eight vessels have berthed at the Lagos Port complex to offload 24,813.95 tones of fish valued at N17.3billion ($37.46million) as Norwegian fish price reached $1,509.55 per tone. At the terminal C and D of the port, Green Honduras has reached with 2,743.95 tones; Yun Der, 4500 tones; Prince Of Sea, 4,200 tones; Green Costa Rica, 4,200 tones and Boyang Capella, 4,200 tones Similarly, Green Klipper with 4,000 tones, Green Crystal, 3,850 tones, Don Reefer, 1,320 tones have unloaded. In 2019, Nigeria reduce responsibilities on imports
of dried stock fish from 20% to 10% for Norway, as a result of the high demand for foreign dried fish heads.
Apparently, the Federal Department of Fishery (FDF), the nation’s need for fish had reached 3.2million tones as Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) listed fish and other seafood among items not plausible for forex from the official interbank market.
The Federal Government has published strategies to end fish importation in the following two years as it implored fish importers to ponder eliciting fish locally. Import percentage and regulation and Coronavirus pandemic has caused the annual projected 4.5million tones fish imports into the country between February and August of 2020. In this regard, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development – Sabo Nanono, had said in Abuja at the 35th Annual Conference of the Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON) that over 12 million Nigerians were vigorously committed in primary and fish production, saying that assistance of fisheries to the national Gross Domestic Products
was about 4.5%.
He clarified that the ministry was seeking a holistic method to the development of the fisheries subsector through the diversification programme along the value chain process. Nanono said: “In line with the theme of this conference, the ministry has developed various programmes to increase domestic food/fish production and the main target is the empowerment of the youth and other groups especially the women.”
“All these programmes are Abeokutatailored towards wealth and jobs creation, arrest and prevention of youth restiveness.”
The Minister asserted presently, the total demand for fish is 3.6 million tones annually while Nigeria is producing 1.1 million tones, abandoning a shortage of about 2.5 million tones to be increased by importation.
The Minister, who was exemplified by the Director of Federal Department of Fisheries, Imeh Umoh, explained that fisheries was one of the value lines in the ministry, expanding that, it was the enterprising impetus for wealth and jobs creation, contribution to food and nutrition security, poverty reduction as well as the creation of numerous
investments for the teeming Nigerians, especially during the economic depression which is occasioned by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Yet, the President of FISON – Adegoke Agbabiaka, remarked that government in the last decade had made a shift of the goal post under the agrarian modification schedule and was contemplating agribusiness, including fisheries and aquaculture as a business in order to accomplish self-sufficiency in food fish output.
For New Africa Business News (NABN) Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent
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