An expert in aquaculture, Mrs. Mojisola Funmilayo Siyanbola, has urged the Federal Government to provide effective and efficient proactive security measures to tackle the deficiency in fish production and preservation.
Mrs Siyanbola, a senior lecturer, Department of Biology, The Polytechnic, Ibadan, while delivering the 11th Inaugural Lecture of the institution titled, “Nigeria’s fish supply deficit: Bridging the gap through sustainable aquaculture,” stressed the need to transform aquaculture from subsistence to commercial level to address inadequate supply of fish in the country.
She said: “From all indications, fish production in the country has been deficient for many years in meeting the projected domestic demand. This trend seems to be unrelenting due to the ever widening gap between demand and supply”.
“The activities of the artisans and industrial fisheries have been the backbone of fish production in Nigeria, but over the years, their contributions have been unable to meet up with the annual demand.”The problem of insecurity which is a serious problem to our aquatic resources especially the marine resources should be tackled. There must be an effective and efficient proactive security measures to protect our aquatic resources.”
While advocating for provision of soft loans and grants to young Nigerians to enable them embark on commercial fish production, Siyanbola urged the government to shift from its cosmetic and elitist policies and go back to the drawing board to work out strategies to attract prospective young farmers to involve in fishing business. “The Federal Government should make it a policy for financial institution to provide soft loans and grants to young Nigerians to enable them embark on commercial fish production.
“The Nigerian government approach to fish culture is at best cosmetic and elitist. The Federal Government must go to the drawing board to work out strategies to attract young Nigerians into the fish farming subsector as one pragmatic panacea to the disturbing menace of youth unemployment which constitutes grave threat to our national security which can be seen from the involvement of younger citizens in crimes of kidnapping for ransom payment, terrorism, pipelines vandalism and other organised crimes.”
Mrs Siyanbola also recommends among others the need to checkmate piracy so as to make fish culture subsector beneficial to the national economy, regular capacity building and training/workshops for extension officers in aquaculture at both Federal, state and local levels, and introduction of aqua-entreprenureship as one of the vocations in entrepreneurship education curriculum.