With the growing inefficiencies in the global oil market, Nigeria’s economy has been continuously crippled as a result of the focus on crude oil for revenue generation. This has led to the clamor for economic development through diversification. Sectors like agriculture, mining and entertainment have been tipped to help sustain the country’s economic growth and while the federal government has now commenced undertaking the economic challenges caused by numerous local and global factors, stakeholders have also urged the government to facilitate diversion initiatives that would further enhance Nigeria’s economic development.
One of the many sectors that has been tipped to contribute immensely to Nigeria’s economic growth is the fishery sector. With a major investment, the sector is predicted to undergo significant transformation that would hugely contribute toward the growth of the country’s economy. The Federal Capital Territory Association (FCTA) has however re-emphasized its commitment to improve the fishery sector and facilitate the sector into being a cash cow for the farmers within the territory and aid national economy.
IYAFA designed to help member nations promote fishery activities.
This was disclosed by Malam Abubakar Ibrahim, the Mandate Secretary for the FCTA Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat during the commemoration of the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA), which held in the FCT, Abuja. He stated that the declaration of 2022 as the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries by the United Nations was posed at a global recognition of the significance of small-scale fish farmers in food security, eradication of poverty and the sustainable facilitation of natural resources. He explained that this occasion was designed for member nations to take important measures in promoting fishery activities.
Malam Ibrahim thus indicated the readiness of his secretariat to continually advocate and promote the facilitation of innovative programs that would enhance the efficient utilization of rich water bodies in the Federal Capital Territory. He explained that many Nigerians were delving into the sector due to fish being a major agricultural product consumed for its nutrition and medicinal properties. Whilst he indicated the encouragement of numerous youths delving into the industry, he complained about the small scale and subsistent level that most fish farmers still operate on.
Fish farmers lack financial investment for commercial production.
He stated that many fish farmers in the country were still lacking in expertise and investments to enable them in acquiring quality implements meant to enhance their transition from household production to the commercial scale. This, he said was important for bridging the gap between supply and demand and reducing the expenditure spent on the importation of fish. The FCTA Secretary also recalled the several workshops facilitated by the secretariat in 2022, which was aimed at promoting the promotion of Tilapia and the implementation of local materials for food formulation.
Ibrahim also indicated that in 2022, the secretariat established a FCT Aquaculture and Allied Trade Centre for Youths and Women at Kuku region of the Kwali area council, as a part of pet project of Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, the FCT Minister of State. This, he added, was created to facilitate women and youths on the techniques of modern fishing production. He revealed that the FCT administration, via the secretariat had made provision of assorted fishery inputs which was worth over N60 million to fish farming in the FCT.
Stakeholders urged to adopt modern approaches to improve fish production.
Malam Ishaq Sadeeq, the secretariat’s Director of Administration and Finance also emphasized the need for stakeholders to enact immediate actions to re-strategize and implement the adoption of modern approaches that would further improve the fish production across the Federal Capital Territory. He noted that the FCT was capable of producing enough fish for the country’s demand, if the environment is well enabled. Ifeoma Okeke, the Director of fisheries in the secretariat, also identified the lack of training as a major setback for fisheries in FCT and thus, urged for the need for more initiative programs.