Nigeria: Reps to probe FG’s issuance of fish importation licences

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ABUJA – 
The House of Representatives on Tuesday moved to investigate the executive arm over its recent decision to issue licences for the importation of fish into the country instead of evolving policies that can encourage local content.

The lawmakers also called on the executive to as a matter of policy make deliberate attempts at discouraging importation and create conducive environment for local fishermen and fish farmers to obtain loans with a view to improving their capacity to meet local demands for fish.

These followed the adoption of a motion under matters if urgent public importance brought by Jonathan Gaza Gbefwi, (PDP, Nasarawa), wherein he noted that “in the last few years, Nigeria has gone through a recession and had resurfaced, and this recovery can be attributed to he diversification of our economy especially in the field of agriculture”.

He said: “Fisheries, which is an important subsector of Nigerian agriculture with the country being rich in perennial rivers and lakes like Kainji and other dams and ponds and has also attracted other large influx of fish farmers using latest technology leading to an increase in fish production and employment.

“In the past, the minister of agriculture in a meeting with the Ijebu Initiative on poverty reduction sometimes in 2017 in Abuja stated that the Federal Government will stop issuing fish importation quota to importers, saying the venture was no longer sustainable.

“Frantic calls have been made to the government by various quarters, including this hallowed chambers to ban the importation of fish into this country as it has negative effects on our economy and also on our health as we cannot ascertain the total health status of fish imported into the country at all times,” Gaza said.

He expressed worry that despite pronouncements by the Federal Government to ban fish importation in a video to encourage local farmers to support the Federal Government diversification policy, licences were still given to importers who have turned Nigeria into a dumping ground.

Source: https://www.independent.ng/reps-to-probe-fgs-issuance-of-fish-importation-licences/

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