***moves to end importation by 2022
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono on Monday, says Nigeria has fish deficit of about 2.5million tonnes from a total demand of 3.6 million tonnes annually.
He said Nigeria produces only 1.1 million of the total demand leaving the remaining deficit to be supplemented by importation.
Nanono, stated this at the 35th Annual Conference of the Fisheries Society of Nigeria, held in Abuja.
He said as a result, the FG plans to end fish importation by 2022 noting that importers have been ordered to consider local farming and production.
Nanono, who spoke through the Director of Federal Department of Fisheries, Mr Imeh Umoh, said over 12 million Nigerians were actively engaged in primary fish production.
According to him, fish production contributes 4.5 percent to the national Gross Domestic Products is about 4.5 per cent.
He said the country through agriculture, can drive income growth, accelerate the achievement of food and nutritional security, generate employment and transform Nigeria into a leading player in the group of food and fish markets.
He said:“As part of the measures of the ministry to reduce this importation and generate employment, the government has directed all fish importers to go into backwards integration for local consumption and export to the international market.
“In this regard, several companies have complied with the policy and the ministry is optimistic that in the next two years, Nigeria will have no business with importation of fish.”