The Catfish and Allied Fish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFFAN) has urged the Federal Government to review the incentives given to fish importers so as to make local production profitable.
The association’s National President, Mr Rotimi Oloye, made this known on Sunday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.
According to him, local fish production should be revived by supporting import substitution and denying fish importers import permit and foreign exchange.
He said the importers should be encouraged to set up fish farms for profit and job creation, rather than importing from abroad.
Oloye noted that local fish farmers cannot compete favourably with importers who are achieving bulk sales in addition to the incentives from government.
“The price of fish is completely down. Today we are compelled to sell 1kg at N400, but before it was N950/1000. The selling price is very low, unless something is done fast the fish industry will collapse,” he said.
Oloye also urged the government to remove the 20 per cent import duty charged on fish meal as there is no duty charge on agriculture equipment such as tractors and fertilisers.
“After paying the 20 per cent, we pay another 5 per cent on finished fish feed produced in Nigeria and fish companies, farms still pay tax annually apart from this import duty.
“Also our employers pay tax, all these taxations are not seen in other countries like Cameroon, Kenya, but in Nigeria; if we continue like this we cannot have food security and create jobs as we wish,” he said.
Similarly, Dr Tomi Asuni, a member of CAFFAN, decried the harsh business environment in which fish farmers operates in the country.
“All farmers are facing the trouble except those who are being subsidised by the importation; Federal Government should encourage everybody to produce but should not give advantage over the local producers.
“Importers shouldn’t be given dollars through the Central Bank of Nigeria making them to sell at any price and leading us to total loss,” he said.