The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to boost fish production in the state, describing the venture as the ‘new oil’ of Nigeria’s agricultural subsector.
The Governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Richard Edebiri, gave the assurance during the Edo State Fisheries Stakeholders’ meeting held in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Gov. Godwin Obaseki said his administration through the intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Accelerated Credit Scheme (CACS) Fund is transforming Edo State into a fish farming hub.
He noted that fish farmers in the state have been benefiting from several of such interventions, with the first batch of beneficiaries for the CBN’s input support funding to be drawn from Uteh Fish Farmers.
The governor said, “It is pertinent to note that Benin City has become a major fish marketing centre in the country. Buyers now troop in the state from all the neighbouring states and other parts of the world. This only became possible because of the participation of investors like you”.
Director, Ministry of Fisheries, Mr. Friday Ehimare, said the state government has decided to key into the fish farming programme because it is the highest growing business in the agricultural subsector in Nigeria.
Earlier, the CBN representative, Mr. Agada Omonu, noted that the Federal Government through the apex bank intends to cause a turnaround of the non-oil sector and protect the economy of the country through its Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) under its development finance strategy.
He assured that the government will continue to support operators in the agriculture sector, in order to create job opportunities and preserve foreign exchange revenue.