September 28, 2022

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NNN: The  Federal Government says over 10 million Nigerians are actively engaged in primary and secondary fisheries operations in the subsector of the economy.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, made this known at the close of the Internal Coordination Meeting of Implementation of Fisheries Governance Project Phase 2 ( FisheriesGov 2), on Thursday in Abuja.
Abubakar said government would support them to boost local production in order to reduce imports, as it is currently encouraging backward integration through commercial aquaculture production.
” The Fisheries and Aquaculture subsector is very significant to the Nigerian economy in terms of employment creation, income generation, poverty alleviation, foreign exchange earnings and provision of raw materials for the animal feed industry.
” It is estimated that over 10milliion Nigerians are actively engaged in primary and secondary Fisheries operations, thus creating wealth for our people and we will be happy if they can benefit from this project.
Nigeria’s total demand for Fish is 3.6 Million Tons annually while we are producing 1.1 Million Tons from all sources (Artisanal, Aquaculture,  and Industrial sectors).
“Leaving a deficit of about 2.5 Million Tons that my ministry is working hard in collaboration with the private sector to supplement by way of import reduction through backward integration.
” To boost local production in order to reduce imports, Government is encouraging backward integration through commercial aquaculture production (pond and cage culture) for local consumption and export and this is yielding positive results,” he said.
The minister said that Federal Government had also put in place measures to boost the fisheries subsector.
” It is gratifying to bring to your notice measures the Federal Government has introduced to enabled the Fisheries subsector gain the desired prominence.
” These measures include: establishment of Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) in Lagos and Abuja to monitor and control Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing along Nigeria Continental Shel.
” Also Fish Storage, Processing and Marketing Project to increase shelf keeping quality and curtail post harvest losses of Fish and Fishery Products.
” As well as Fish Farm Clusters to increase Fish production and engage the teeming youths and women and Lake Enhancement Project to increase Fish Production and make for sustainable livelihood for the Fisher folks.
” All these programs are tailored towards job and wealth creation, poverty reduction, arrest and prevention of youth restiveness and food nutrition security,” he said.
He said that recommendations from the workshop would be used to improve Nigeria’s governance mechanism for maximum productivity in her fisheries subsector.
Abubakar tasked stakeholders at the meeting on subjecting every item on the agenda to scrutiny and come up with sustainable and practicable governance strategies for implementation to boost fish production in Africa.
Earlier, Dr Nick Nwankpa, Acting Director, The African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), said the project  recognised the importance of institutional collaboration for the sustainable exploitation and management of fisheries, aquaculture and other blue economy resources.
He said the fisheries governance would also take cognisance of functions of the various African Union Commission (AUC ) departments, when well-coordinated.
He said this could contribute significantly to the integrated development of the sector and the socio-economic advancement of the continent. (www.nanews.ng)
NewsSourceCredit: NAN
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