By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigeria is working towards reducing the sum of $1.2 billion spent on the importation of fish into Nigeria annually, according to Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele.
Mr Emefiele made this disclosure yesterday in Abuja during a parley with some state Governors and the media on the achievement of the agriculture sector so far in pushing Nigeria’s economic growth.
According to the CBN chief, current fish production stands at 0.8 million tons, which doesn’t match the demand by Nigerians of 2.7 million tons, resulting in a deficit of 1.9 million tons.
He said the apex bank’s current initiative was to engage the coastal state governors to develop the sea economy to address the deficit of 1.9 metric tons which will improve local production and remove the huge import bill for fish.
According to Mr Emefiele, this is a very huge economic opportunity for the states to create an enabling environment for investors.
The sea economy is not the only potential that exist for the country as the governor said that major innovation to deepen the poultry business was also in place.
This brought about the recent partnership between the central bank and tertiary institutions to initiate the “The University–Based Poultry Production Programme” in twelve 12 Universities across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria.
He added that the objective was not only building future agricultural entrepreneurs but also making universities able to improve their internally generated revenue.
“For the pilot phase, five Nigerian Universities, namely; Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and University of Ilorin were enrolled.
“These Universities have submitted revised proposal to their respective sponsoring banks,” he said.
The Governors of Ekiti, Adamawa, Lagos, Ogun, Benue, Zamfara, Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto, Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina, Anambra, Imo, Edo, and Borno states were present at the meeting.
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