According to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, Nigeria spends 1.2 billion dollars for the importation of fish into the country annually. Emefiele disclosed this while briefing some state governors and the media on the feat recorded so far in agriculture for economic growth, in Abuja on Thursday 19th September 2019.
He explained that current fish production stood at 0.8 million tons while the demand was 2.7 million tons, giving a deficit of 1.9 million tons. The apex bank’s current initiative was to engage the coastal state governors to develop the blue economy addressing the deficit of 1.9 metric tons as well as eradicate the huge import bill for fish. According to Emefiele, this is a very huge economic opportunity for the states to create an enabling environment for investors.
In a similar development, the governor said that major innovation to deepen the poultry business was the recent partnership between the bank and tertiary institutions. This is to pilot “The University–Based Poultry Production Programme” in twelve (12) universities across the six geo-political zones. He added that the objective was not only to build future ‘agripreneurs’, but also make the universities able to improve their internally generated revenue.
“For the pilot phase, five Nigerian Universities, namely; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, 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 News Agency of Nigeria reports that Governors of Ekiti, Adamawa, Lagos, Ogun, Benue, Zamfara, Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto, Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina, Anambra, Imo, Edo, and Borno States attended the meeting.