NIGERIA – Jona Dabit, a fisheries officer in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture says Nigeria’s fish production is deficient by about 1.9 million metric tonnes.

Dabit stated this in Lagos on Friday during a presentation at a two-day National Workshop on “Economic Transformation through Agriculture”.

The workshop was jointly organised by the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) and ICBS Consult.

“Out of Nigeria’s present fish demand of about 2.7 million metric tonnes, the country is being faced with a deficiency of about 1.9 million metric tonnes.

“The country has so far been able to satisfy only 800 metric tonnes of the people’s fish need.

“This is why we have continued to waste a lot of money on the importation of fish,’’ he said.

Dabit urged fish farmers to redouble their investment in fish production, and advised others to join the business.

The fisheries expert said there were huge economic opportunities in fish farming that Nigerians were yet to explore.

He urged Nigerians to visit states department of fisheries for technical and financial assistance that would boost the production.

“We should all develop interest in fish farming to become economically stable as well as produce enough fish for our consumption and export.

“We cannot continue to import fish from other countries when we have the natural and human resources to produce more than enough fish in this country.

“Nigerians need to know that fish farming is very cheap, interesting and rewarding to operate,’’ he said.

Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, the Director General, NIIA, advised Nigerians to create spaces in their compounds and offices for fish production.

Akinterinwa said that the business of fish production should be that of all Nigerians.

“Because of the increasing Nigerians’ demand for fish, we should all in our little ways be involved in fish farming.

“We can set up fish ponds in our compounds and available spaces in our offices. This way, we can contribute to Nigeria fish needs,’’ he said. – NAN

October 2, 2014;