..Say’s borders closure untimely
By Udeh Gabriel
The Nigeria Union of Fishermen and Seafood Dealers (NUFAS) has appealed to federal government to be wary of some people who paraded themselves as fishermen and Seafood dealers just to obtain intervention loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The Union said in a statement in Kaduna yesterday that many people have gone to register as Cooperative Society just to collect the intervention when they’re not known to the Union.
National President of the Union, Comrade Sani Usman Rilwan who raised alarm said the Union is getting worried because some of those benefitting are neither trained for the job, nor members, but were only there to collect the CBN Subvention.
According to him, the Union which was registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) since 1995 has the lists of registered members and none of them have benefitted from the subvention.
The President said the Union is in position to know who are really in the fishing business and could assist the government to identify genuine businessmen in the industry who are qualified for the subvention.
Comrade Rilwan who praised the government for its intervention activities however advised federal Government not to suspend the planned closure of borders for the importation of fish, saying “it’s untimely.
According to him, the closure is untimely because the current metric tonnes are not enough to take care of the huge demand for fish, adding that such action therefore may not augur well for the country’s quest for economic impact or importance of fish in-take.
He also lamented that the Lake-Chad basin which used to generate almost 50% of fish produce in the country is not performing effectively due insecurity accassioned by Boko Haram activities in the North Eastern states of Nigeria.
According to him, all the country needed now is to ensure the support for training of more people in fish farming and fishing to ensure there are more experts in the industry before the final closure of the borders on fish importation.
He said the problems facing country’s fishermen on the deep sea was lack of fishing trolleys that could help them to catch enough fish from the sea, adding that “if government comes to their aid, it will also support in creating employment opportunities in the country and revenue generation.
Comrade Rilwan called on those in the business of sea foods to come forward to register with the Union in order to speak with one voice for the progress of the business and the entire members of the Union.
He praised the government for its activities on the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) Focus Lab Vision 2017 – 2020, and urged government not to relent in that direction.