By Godwin Oritse
IN a bid to increase its annual contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, the Fishery Cooperative Association of Nigeria, FCAN, has said that it has commenced moves to grow the sector with the aim of bridging the deficit of over 1.2 million metric tons.
Speaking to Vanguard at the just concluded Annual General Meeting of the group, newly elected chairman, Mohammed Laminu, said that the group has also concluded plans to unveil an agenda on fishery development in Nigeria.
Laminu also said that the fishery sector is significant to the nation’s economy adding that the sector contributes about two percent to the GDP and the group is also planning to increase its contribution to three percent annually.
He said: “Fishery sector is a significant sector in the Nigerian economy and we contribute a little above two percent to the nation’s GDP annually and you know the fish demand in the country. The fish demand is around 2.8 million tons annually and we can only produce less than a million tons annually and so the balance is imported to make up.
“The first thing is partner with the Federal Government under the leadership of Asiwau Bola Tinubu in his cooperative development agenda because we are setting up a cooperative development agenda and we want to key into that programme and ensure that we bridge the gap between demand and supply of fish in Nigeria.
“Maybe after a year or two we will be one of the nations that will be exporting fish to other parts of the world and secondly, about our membership strength, we have about 62 million members across the country. In lake Basin alone, we had 11.889 million members before the insurgency because the insurgency has affected fishing activities in Lake Chad. What we want to do to bridge the fishery demand and supply is to train and retrain our members and bring in new skills and new technology. We would like to bring new methods of fishing and secondly, we have to empower them financially and otherwise.”