Business is booming.

Fishing industry can surpass oil sector with proper harnessing – Minister

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, says the nation’s fishing industry can take from the oil sector if properly harnessed.

Oyetola said this during the stakeholders’ engagement with fishing trawlers held in Lagos on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Oyetola was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr Oloruntola Olufemi.

He said that the ministry recognised the immense contributions of fish trawler owners to the Nigerian economy in providing fish food nutrition, job creation as well as economic growth.

Oyetola said that the meeting was to collectively chart the course in achieving sustainable development in the Marine and Blue Economy, as well as deepening the rapport between the government and the stakeholders in the fishing trawlers business.

He said that President Bola Tinubu had established the ministryand its Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture to facilitate trade with their presence signifying growth as well as progress in the fisheries sector.

According to him, this gathering is the first since the establishment of the department in the ministry in 2024.

Oyetola said that the vision of the ministry was to lead the fisheries and aquaculture toward a prosperous and sustainable future.

“Fisheries and aquaculture is a key component of the Marine and Blue Economy which is the focus of the ministry action plan.

“This is an opportunity to chart the course and provide dialogue to bring innovative solutions and local capacities of Nigeria’s economy and the welfare of our people,” Oyetola said.

He urged the fishing trawler owners to collaborate with the ministry to finetune their operation in line with the seminar sponsored by the African Union held recently in Abuja.

He said that the target of the Ministry was to invest and finetune the framework to allow the enterprise to flourish.

The President of the Fishing Trawlers Association of Nigeria (FTAN), Mrs Ben Okonkwo, said the nation’s fisheries sub-sector was operating with a turnover of between 80 million dollars to 100 million dollars business per annum.

She said that the association was established under a unified body in 1986.

“The association started with a new Menvera company, which later increased the number to 25 companies.

“Before the Association nosedived, we had about 250 boats, with over 100,000 workers across the board.

“At one point business nosedived due to the rise in pirate attacks, difficulties in accessing forex transactions and procurement of diesel.”

(NAN)

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