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FG: Importation of Frozen Fish Drain on Foreign Exchange

Posted by Patricia Lumba on 15 June 2022 11:50 AM CAT
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By James Emejo,

The federal government has lamented the country’s continued importation of fish to bridge existing deficit, describing it as a huge drain on the scarce foreign exchange. Nigeria requires about 3.6 million metric tons (MMT) of fish annually to meet local consumption and currently produces only about 1.2 MMT. The deficit of about 2 MMT is supplemented by annual importation, a situation which further exerts undue pressure on foreign exchange.

Speaking at the opening of the internal coordination meeting of the implementation of Fisheries Governance Project Phase 2 (FisheriesGov 2) in Abuja, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, noted that the impact of frozen fish importation on forex was currently being regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He said, “It is a toll on our foreign exchange but it is being regulated by the CBN because it is only the CBN governor that will issue form ‘M’ to anybody that wants to bring frozen fish into the country so that monetary expenditure in terms of foreign exchange will be given by the CBN.”

The minister was represented at the occasion by the ministry’s Director, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Dr. Ime Umoh,  who said the government had moved to close the existing deficit in fishing capacity.

Senior Adviser, Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CADAP), Ms Panduleni Elago, said closing the fish deficits in Nigeria was still a far cry.

She said the project is all about achieving food security among the 15 member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

She said, “As you all may be aware, fish is one of the cheapest and healthy protein sources to a human being. As we try to end hunger in Africa by 2025, we also seek to support all those involved in the fishery sector including the small-scale farmers to ensure they have food on their plate and not only food nutritious food which could be coming from food protein.”

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