Nigerian youths have been urged to consistently explore various opportunities available in fish farming and its value-chain, in order to be gainfully engaged and earn an income.
Ogun State Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Kikelomo Longe said this in Abeokuta, during a week-long Fish/Aquaculture Fair, jointly organised by the OGUNCCIMA and the State government with the theme, “Aquaculture Entrepreneurship for Youth Employment, Wealth Generation and Sustainable GDP Growth”, saying there was a great demand for sea food-based products among Nigerians, which could also be a means of earning foreign exchange, especially with the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) in the country.
Represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Remi Ogunmefun, Longe disclosed that those who intend to venture into fish farming and other lines of businesses could benefit from the various efforts of the government, geared towards the facilitation of access to capital, noting that the Ministry in partnership with the Ogun State Agricultural and Multipurpose Credit Agency (OSAMCA), recently disbursed N850 million to over 22,000 beneficiaries.
“Without mincing words, it suffices to re-emphasise that fish farming is one of the best bets to leverage on, as it provides a reliable source of income, as well as earning foreign exchange through the platform created by AfCTA”, she said.
The Commissioner assured that the Ministry would continue to partner the Ogun State Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (OGUNCCIMA) in organising the annual Fair, adding that the present administration remains focused in helping genuine entrepreneurs and organisations contribute to the growth of the economy.
In his remarks, his counterpart in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina, represented by the Director of Fishery Services in the Ministry, Mrs. Omolara Ojelade, emphasised the need for youths to utilise various opportunities within aquaculture value-chain to become self-employed.
Speaking earlier, former President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Iyalode Alaba Lawson, called on the government to financially support youths interested in fish farming and aquaculture, as well as provide more training to reduce fish importation.