NIGERIA – The acquisition of a 10.1 million Euros research vessel for the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR) by the Federal Government is expected to boost Nigeria’s local fish production.
According to a release by the information department of the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development, Nigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan stated that the vessel would help in achieving the Federal Government’s fish production self-sufficiency drive during the commissioning and christening of the vessel named ‘RV Bayagbona’ in Gdanski, Poland.
The first lady said that the focus of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) has been to promote strategies for ensuring sustainable fish stocks, integrated fisheries management, aquaculture and improving trade through established global best practices in overall fisheries management.
The first lady said, “Nigeria is blessed with abundant aquatic resources with a coastline of 853 kilometres, also rich in fish and shrimps”.
She maintained that the Niger Delta of Nigeria is reputed as the second largest salt-water habitat in the world and has shrimps that are a most highly valued resource after crude oil.
She commended the minister of agriculture and rural development for the successful acquisition of the vessel which according to her, would help to boost Nigeria’s capacity in marine and oceanographic research for sustainable management of the country’s vast deep-sea resources.
Also, in his remarks at the ceremony in Poland, Akinwunmi Adesina, minister of agriculture and rural development, explained that the approval for the purchase of the 10.1 million Euros research vessel by President Jonathan became imperative in view of the need to properly monitor and manage the diversity of the country’s resources.
Adesina said that Nigeria has no business importing fish, saying “Nigeria has abundance of water. We are blessed with numerous lakes, rivers, reservoirs, dams and flood plains, spanning about 13 million hectares which can support artisanal fisheries and aquaculture.”
The minister stated that work has started on the unlocking of Nigeria’s fisheries potential with the launch of a nationwide provision of subsidised fisheries inputs last year.
He said, “Fish farmers were registered under the e-wallet scheme and provided with juveniles and subsidised fish feeds. Artisanal fishermen were also provided with nets, ropes, sinkers, floats and insulated boxes free of charge and canoes at 50 percent subsidy.
He also said the Federal Government has begun a coordinated inter-agency effort to curb incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea, saying “Nigeria will not tolerate illegal fishing in its territorial waters and will work with international agencies to enforce compliance.”
The vessel constructed by Remomtowa Holdings was named after the First executive director of the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR).