The land border closure by the Federal Government is a blessing to fish farmers in the country, says Mr Rotimi Oloye, the National President, Catfish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN).
The CFAN national president made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Ibadan.
Oloye said while the borders were opened, some illegal activities were on, some fishery and poultry products were imported which did not better the lots of the farmers.
He said that since the borders were closed, fish farmers were back to work, increased volume of production, more employment, wealth generated and adequate sustenance of the industry being witnessed.
“We were having a very serious issue at hand before border closure, fish everywhere in the country.
“Farmers were begging to sell even in credit despite poor pricing because continuous holding means increased cost by feeding, security and interest on the borrowed fund.
“But two weeks after border closure, there was no fish to meet demand again when there is a reduction in smuggling of fish, especially frozen and low-quality fish from outside Nigeria.
“The demand for local fish will surely increase.
“Whatever needed to be done to sanitise our trade with our neighbours should be maintained; otherwise it becomes easier to stop production than producing what will take you into debt.
“It is what a country produces that makes it’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), therefore, we must do everything possible to sustain production, as food is important, the population of the country can take whatever we produce.
“If the borders are our problem despite the presence of control posts and officers paid to man such posts, let it be closed for eternity,” the CFAN national president said.
Oloye said the fish farmers had always been on duty and would continue to do their best to ensure adequate production to meet demand in the country.
“We must work to survive, pay bills and will try to increase production.
“Government should continue the closure of land borders since it cannot distribute enough cash to all of us, the social service of the closure is more than money distribution.
“The consumers should stay with us as we shall continue to secure quality fish for them.”