Ban On Fish Import: 2000 Fish-Farmers Protest, Accuse Ministry Of Hidden Agenda

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gej address empty chairs
*insist on implementation of one-man,
one- fish pond FG policy

An association of fish farmers in the country have accused the ministry of
Agriculture have protested the sudden ban on importation of fish into the
country when the policy of one-man, one-fish pond of the Federal Government has
not been actualized.

Addressing journalists yesterday in Awka during a meeting of about 2000
delegates representing members of the Fish-farm Estate Developers Association,
(FEDA) the national President of the association, Chief Maurice Ebo disclosed
that when the Minister of Agriculture assumed office, he promised to boost fish
production in the country through the farmers.

He said that unfortunately nothing has worked out, as no meeting has taken
place between them and the Minister, let alone providing them with the FG fish
expansion grant.

That the Fisheries Society of Nigeria(FISON) in October 2010 under the
supervision of the incumbent acting director of Fisheries as President of FISON
honored FEDA for outstanding performance in fish production. They had
encouraged them to keep up with the zeal, hoping it would soon provide the
nation with the required tonnage for local consumption, and even some for
export.

Ebo said it was therefore surprising for the Acting director and the Minister
to turn their back on FEDA since assuming power. That even when they extracted
an appointment from the Minister at an official function, he failed to it. The
association had made several attempts to see the Minister but was always
frustrated by his aides.

The FEDA boss therefore expressed worry that Nigerians would experience
excruciating hardship sourcing fish from the new year when the new ban on
importation of fish takes effect. He blamed the yawning production gap in fish
production from the national consumption requirement on the unilateral breach
of the tripartite agreement entered into by FEDA, Fidelity Bank and the
Ministry on the systematic approval and release of the grant to his members.

He said the members have resolved to embark on a nationwide protest against the
contract breach, if that would improve the situation of things and save
Nigerians agony of expensive fish in the new year.

Already prices of different sizes of fish and fish products have skyrocketed
nationwide ahead of the ban coming into force on Dec 31,2013.


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