The Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Agricultural Institutions, Awaji Inombek-Abiante, has urged the Federal Government to create a separate ministry for fisheries and aquaculture, as it would boost the value chain of the industry. According to the lawmaker, the $1billion (about N400billion) spent on imports can be invested in the ministry to improve it and, ultimately, help create food security and realize our dream to reach self-sufficiency in food production.
Fish farming or aquaculture is becoming one of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria, with more Nigerians beginning to opt for fish rather than red meat as a healthier choice. As a result, the government spends large amount of money on imports to supplement local production. This means that there is room for more individuals to get into fish farming and contribute to the economy of the country, and at the same time create employment for young people, both educated and uneducated.
With the cost of production of fish being high, importation drives the final price of fish even higher. So rather than spend billions of naira on importation of fish products, such money could be invested in the industry in Nigeria. According to studies, this investment will enable Nigeria reap about $1billion from the industry and ultimately, begin to export to other countries.