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Gbajabiamila, Sanwo-Olu Seek Reduction In Fish Importation

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House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu have called for a reduction in fish importation.

They believe that responsible fishing would ensure self-sufficiency in fish production, thereby reducing its importation.

They spoke at a three-day training on the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in Lagos State, organised by Ata Global Services Ltd, in conjunction with the National Institute for Freshwater Fisheries Research (NIFFR).

The training, facilitated by Gbajabiamila, was to train fish farmers on the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries for fisheries policymakers, officials and fisherfolks in Lagos State.

The Speaker, represented by his Senior Legislative Aide, Fuad Laguda, said the programme was organised to ensure continuous empowerment for the people of Lagos State and Nigeria in general.

He admonished the participants to make good use of the knowledge gained during the training so they will be able to give back to society, help to improve the country’s economy by reducing foreign importation of fish.

Sanwo-Olu said the training aligned perfectly with the efforts of his administration towards developing aquaculture to meet the fish demand of Lagosians.

The governor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Tayo Ayinde, lauded the NIFFR management for its efforts at sustaining the legacy of past leadership in the implementation of the mandate, which, he said, is strategic to achieving food security with regards to fish production.

He described the training as a step in the right direction ‘to expose youths to opportunities in fish farming and the value chain’.

“It is a thing of concern that given our natural endowment in terms of water resources, a lot of our hard-earned foreign exchange is being expended for the importation of fish because of our inability to meet local demand. It is however heartwarming that as a result of the strong commitment from the Federal Government to resuscitate and develop the agricultural sector, a lot of progress is being achieved as evidenced in the reduction of many food importations, including fish and fish products.”

Chairman of the Governing Board Chief Mutiu Are urged farmers to echo the need for policy consistency on the part of the government, as well as sustained engagement by development partners to transform the latent potentials in Nigeria’s freshwater fisheries sector into tangible results.

Are, who was represented by NIFFR’s Acting Executive Director, Mrs. Stella Ovie, said the three-day training is a top-level, high-impact and strategic intervention platform to re-orientate, re-invigorate and propel the fisheries industry in Lagos State to international standards.

He noted that Lagos State has the capacity to positively impact and promote the domestication of responsible practices in the country’s fishery sector in line with the well-publicised vision and policy focus of the Federal and Lagos State governments.

“This particular training on Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries for Fisheries Policy Makers, Officials and Fisherfolks in Lagos State is especially dear to us for several reasons. Firstly, Lagos State, as the acclaimed ‘Centre of Excellence’ in Nigeria, is in a prime position to influence the dissemination of fisheries industry best practices across the country.

“Secondly, in line with the policy focus of the Lagos and Federal governments to promote the Lagos mega-city project, it is expected that an economic sector as vast and impactful as that of Lagos State needs to be shaped and upgraded to world standard,” he added.

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