Fishermen under the auspices of Fisheries Cooperative Federation of Nigeria Limited (FCFNL), have raised the alarm that the collapse of industrial fishery sub-sector had resulted in loss of over 100, 000 jobs and cost the country over $50 million in foreign exchange derivable from export of high-value sea food.
They protested multiple taxation on fish commodity as well as its negative effects on the fisheries sub-sector of the country, lamenting the effects of growing insecurity in forms of militancy, sea piracy, youth restiveness and unregulated fishing in maritime states, as well as the insurgency in Lake Chad region on fishing activities.
Speaking at the maiden annual general meeting of the federation in Abuja, its president, Anthony Ashagye, raised the alarm that farmers/grazers conflict had hindered fishing activities in the southern zone of Taraba State.
He lamented that despite its vast fisheries and aquaculture resource base, the country remains the highest fish importer in Africa with an estimated 950 metric tonnes of imported frozen fish valued at over N100 billion annually.
Ashagye said it was sad that the critical sub-sector of the economy remained bedevilled with a wide-range of limiting factors which include inadequate infrastructure, lack of access to affordable credit facilities by investors, policy inconsistency, failure of development and intervention programmes as well as inadequate insurance cover.