A bill for the establishment of Federal Institute of Fishery and Aquatic Studies in Kogi State, on February 23, 2022, passed Second Reading at the National Assembly.
The Bill, which seeks for the establishment of the federal Institute of fishery and Aquatic Studies is sponsored by Senator Smart Adeyemi of Kogi West Senatorial District.
Senator Adeyemi while leading the debate said Fishery, like Agriculture has been an important sector in the Nigerian economy in the past decades, and is still a major sector despite the oil boom.
He noted that the bill, when passed, will provide employment opportunities for the teeming populace, promote diversification and serve as a catalyst for sustainable development.
“The fishery sector is crucial to the Nigerian economy for contributing about 5.40% of the Nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is important to our economic sector in terms of employment, food security, enterprise development, and could become a major avenue for foreign exchange earnings if fully developed to meet modern techniques of production. It will also encourage younger Nigerians to embrace it as a source of livelihood.
This has not been so due to our dependence on crude oil resources as a main source of revenue generation, thereby driving a monolithic economy for years in spite of the enormous developmental challenges facing our Nation, especially the huge problem of unemployment”.
He said, “permit me to once again, bring to your kind attention the fact that Nigeria is a maritime state where nine (9) out of the thirty six (36) federal states have coastlines in the Atlantic Ocean.
The coastal Federal states of Nigeria are Ogun, Lagos, Ondo, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and Cross Rivers States. The importance of the fisheries sector to individuals and the economy of many developed and developing countries cannot be overemphasized.
Kotton Karfe is a riverine community which is known for its exceptional fishery activities by the locals. Over 70% of the residents engage in fishing activities,” he said
“The evidence of this can be seen in the presence of their Fish Shopping Mall at the Bank of the River Niger.
Mr President, let us be reminded that fish provides more than 60.0% of the world’s supply of protein, especially in developing countries like ours. Its importance could be identified directly and indirectly among rural and urban residents in Nigeria. Fishery contributes approximately 3.00–5.00% to the agricultural share of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
On health benefits, Fish are an important source of protein in the diet of Nigerians. Protein from fish is highly digestible and of great nutritional value. It consists of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Apart from its high quality, it is also a cheaper source of protein compared to other animal protein sources such as beef, pork, chicken, and goat meat.”
He maintained that the proposed institute of Fishery in Koton Karfe will offer both certificate and diploma courses as a means of training and encouraging individuals who are desirous of broadening their knowledge on the Fishery industry.
“With this College, there would be cross fertilization of ideas, knowledge and techniques of fish production. The end goal is to discourage the importation of foreign fish to our Nation daily. As next Steps, I would recommend more institutes in each Geo-Political Zone as a way of taking Fishery and studies of Aquatics very seriously in our Nation.”
He added that, Nigerians should be encouraged to fully embrace the industry in order to improve not just the standard of living of those who will be employed through this process, but also as a means of preserving the foreign reserve.
“If this is done, fish production in Nigeria has the potential to exceed the fish demand in the country and importantly, yield enormous income through exportation.”
He maintained that locating a federal institute of fishery in Koton Karfe will equally boost the Fish market in the North central, Abuja particularly and the nation at Large, noting that thousands of graduates will also have a sustainable and consistent source of livelihood.