The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar has said that over 10 Million Nigerians were activity engaged in primary and secondary fisheries operations stating it would lead to reduction of fish importation , increase local production and fast track the economic growth.

The Minister made this known at the closing Ceremony of the Second Dialogue and Sensitization Meeting on Fisheries Governance Project (FISHGOV 2) with Regional Economic Communities (RECs), held at Chelsea Hotel, Abuja, recently.

 Dr. Abubakar pointed out that the fisheries and aquaculture subsector was very significant to Nigerian economy in terms of employment creation, income generation, poverty alleviation, foreign exchange earnings and provision of raw materials for the animal feed industry.

He revealed that “to boost local production in order to reduce imports, Federal Government was encouraging backward integration through commercial aquaculture production for local consumption and export, which is yielding positive results’’.

The Minister added that Federal Government had introduced measures to enable the fisheries subsector gain the desired prominence which include; Establishment of vessel monitoring system (VMS) in Lagos and Abuja to monitor and control illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing along Nigeria continental shelf, Fish farm clusters to increase fish production and engage the teeming youth and women, Fish storage, processing and marketing project to increase shelf life/ keeping quality among others.

He urged the stakeholders to come up with sustainable and practicable Governance strategies for implementation in order to boost Fish production in Africa.

Earlier, in his welcome address, the Acting Director, Africa Union – Interafican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), Dr. Nick Nwankpa stated that  ‘’the overall objective of the meeting  was to discuss ,identify and map initiatives that  are relevant and complementary to fisheries and aquaculture activities , agree on framework for internal coordination on issues relating to fisheries ,aquaculture and related disciples’’.  

One of the Stakeholders, the European Union Representative, Eulade Mboneye pointed out that the Fisheries Governance Project Phase 2 recognized the importance of institutional collaboration and coordination for the sustainable exploitation, management of fisheries, aquaculture and other blue economy resources.     

 Mohammed Abdullahi Gana

Information officer II

For: Director, Information (FMARD)