Fish key to Nigeria economic expansion

FBN 1OKORO CHINEDU
LAGOS, (CAJ News) – STAKEHOLDERS have been urged to increase funding in the fisheries sector in order to boost production, cut imports and enhance economic diversification.

First Bank Nigeria (FBN) Capital, in its latest market update reported although fish farming is the fastest growing segment within the
agricultural sector, the domestic shortfall for fisheries is estimated at 1,9 million metric tons per year.

The bank said this explained Nigeria’s annual spend of N125 billion (US$625 million) on fish imports.

“For Nigeria to achieve self-sufficiency, increased private participation is required to boost production capacity of fish,” FBN Capital stated.
The market think-tank said funding remained one of the major hindrances to expansion.

According to the CBN’s recent Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme report, in the first half of the year, 874 loans were granted to fish farmers  under the scheme amounting to N2,1 billion.

“Given the funding crisis the segment faces, the impact of the scheme  would be modest at best,” FBN Capital argued.

The firm noted there had been reports of increased smuggling of fish, particularly frozen fish, into country.

Late last year, the local media reported the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) confiscated N1,9 million worth of frozen fish.

CAJ News

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