Government at all levels have been urged to have a policy designed for the fish industry with a view to bridging the 2.3million metric tonnes of fish production in Nigeria.
A cross section of Lawmakers in the National Assembly, Fish Entrepreneurs and Stakeholders were speaking at Fellowship investiture and fund raising for the building of the National Secretariat of the Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON) in Abuja.
The Lawmakers maintained that the initiative if adequately harnessed, would go a long way to develop the fish industry so as to promote a sustainable development for the benefit of Nigeria and provide employment opportunities for the unemployed and also curb youth restiveness.
Giving his welcome address at the occasion, the National President of FISON, Dr Lukman Agbabiaka noted that Nigeria with a population over 200 million people is a fish consuming nation with annual consumption of fish placed at 3.5 million metric tonnes while annual production is on 1.1 million metric tonnes ,making the country a net importer of fish in order to meet with the fish demand of the populace.
He said in order to achieve self sufficiency, government is now considering Agriculture including Fishries and Aquaculture as business.
The Chairman of Council of fellows, Fisheries Society of Nigeria, Prof Francis Sikoki said the Investiture is awarded for service to humanity and contribution to the growth of fishery in Nigeria.
The Chairman at the event Inyang- Etim- Inyang in his address said Nigeria produces 65% of catfish and tilapia fish consumed globally and 75% of fish consumed locally in Africa.
He advised that steps geared towards production to meet local demands, eliminate importation of fish and create competitiveness should be taken as a matter of urgency.
In an interview with newsmen, Hon Dogomie Awaji- Inombek Abiante called for the establishment of a Ministry or Commission in the Country ,charged with the responsibility for fishery research and development in line with international best practice.
The 2020 Fellowship award which were in 4 categories were given to 25 Nigerians by the Fishery Society of Nigeria .