PORT HARCOURT – Dr Awotein George, the Chairman, Fishery Society of Nigeria (FISON), Rivers branch, on Friday decried the absence of Fishery Act and statistics on fishery in the country.
George, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt, said the situation had robbed the country of foreign investments in the sub-sector.
‘’Nigeria has no Fishery Act and statistics on fishery and so no foreign investor can come and invest without proper statistics, because they want to know what is on ground and whether the investment going to be viable.
‘’We need Fishery Act; the society has already approved the draft of the bill which is now ready to be sent to the National Assembly. But you have to lobby to get it passed.
‘’If the Fishery Bill is signed into law, investors will come in; there are lots of investment opportunities in fishery.’’
According to him, Nigeria is endowed with abundant fishery resources that could generate adequate employment.
George, who is a senior lecturer at the Rivers University of Science and Technology (RUST), Port Harcourt, also said that investment and employment opportunities in the fishery sub-sector would improve the country’s food situation.
He noted that fish importation had reduced by 25 per cent due to FISON’s push for a ban on fish importation to encourage local production, stressing that imported fish had “little or no nutritional value’’.
‘’ The government of Norway is worried over the 25 per cent reduction. It is not a matter of sending us (exporting) fish, no, come and invest here and we will produce the fish here.
‘’ Fishery is a multi-faceted sector of the economy with production, capturing, processing, marketing and sales,’’ he said, and urged wealthy Nigerians to invest in the industry. (NAN)