Chief Mike Amachree has urged the Federal Government to grow the country’s aquaculture sector, particularly fish farming, because of its enormous benefits to the tourism sector in the area of culinary experience for local and international tourists. Father of Nigerian Tourism, Chief Amachree, made the call in a recent chat with journalists. He said Nigeria was well placed to grow fish production from the country’s huge rivers, lakes and streams, explaining further that Nigeria consisted of upland and riverine communities. The upland communities produce beef while the riverine communities produce fish. He noted that, with the abundant rivers in the South-South, South West and parts of the North, the need for fish production was imperative.
The tourism guru observed that every part of the country practices animal husbandry, while fish farming, which is supposed to be the occupation of the riverine communities, is lagging behind. He also blamed oil drilling and the resultant water pollution as a cause of poor yield in riverine communities. Relating it to tourism, the hospitality guru said the culinary experience for most tourists in Nigeria leans toward beef. He said: “Most international and domestic tourists are fed with beef and they sometimes complain of lack of availability of fish meals and, where fish meals are served, they are very expensive due to the fact it is not commonly available like beef.”
Amachree, who has widely travelled to famous countries of the world, observed that education, business, health, food and drinks, dancing, stage performances, cinema and sports are the main interest of tourists. He urged the Nigerian government to assist fish farmers in the riverine areas of Bayelsa, Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, and Argungu in Kebbi State. Other riverine areas he mentioned include those in Kaduna State (Kaduna River), Imo State (Oguta Lake), Ondo State (Okitipupa and Ilaje communities), Enugu (Nike Lake), communities around the River Niger and Benue, and Lagos State (Badagry and Epe). Amachree also used the opportunity to call on government to help stimulate activities within the tourism industry by offering practitioners financial palliatives to restart their business after the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to him, without tourism, there will be no industrialisation as businessmen and entrepreneurs have to travel and visit a place before seeing business opportunities to invest.