Magnus Eze, Enugu
The National Fish Association of Nigeria (NFAN) has appealed to South East Governors to support its drive towards repositioning the sector to meet the regional and national fish and protein needs The fish farmers made the call at a 2-day workshop on fish production and processing in Enugu, yesterday, with the theme, ‘‘Fish production, processing and certification for export as a leading sector for South East economic diversification’’.
National President of NFAN and Chairman on the occasion, Dr Gabriel Ogunsaya, said the call had become necessary in view of the dwindling fortunes of the nation’s economy and the current efforts to make the fish sector a major income earner for the country.
“There is money in fish and many people do not know about that. So, I appeal to the Governors of the South East to see how they can assist the youths and other players in the fish industry value chain.
“Fish farmers have the potential to provide huge job opportunities for the youths and other unemployed citizens in the zone and beyond.
“The Governors would even benefit too, because, when the farmers create jobs and engage the unemployed, they would have some rest of mind because they would have less problem to contend with.”
Ogunsanya, said that with the right things in place, the fish sector can overtake crude oil as Nigeria’s main income earner.
He urged the Governors to emulate what their colleagues are doing in other states, adding; “using myself as an example, since 2013, I have been supplying the government of my state, Osun, five tons of fish per week. These are harvests from my farm plus the ones from other farmers in the state”.
In his address, National Vice President of NFAN, South East, Mba Patrick, said the workshop was organised to equip participants with information on how to produce fish to international standard.