While addressing a number of State Governors and the media on the state of the nation’s agricultural sector on Thursday, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, suggested that the country is yet to really crack the problems associated with productivity.
According to the CBN Governor, the country spends up to USD 1.2 Bn on the importation of fish every year. And this is largely because local production of fish is still lagging behind.
The CBN boss made it known that local fish production currently stands at 0.8 million tons when there is a demand of 2.7 million tons, giving a deficit of 1.9 million tons.
Emefiele reiterated that the apex bank was making moves to fix the current deficit. He stated that the bank’s current initiative was to engage the coastal state governors to develop the blue economy to address the deficit of 1.9 metric tons as well as eradicate the huge import bill for fish.
The CBN Governor talked up the current situation as a huge economic opportunity for the states to create an enabling environment for investors.
The State Governors of Ekiti, Adamawa, Lagos, Ogun, Benue, Zamfara, Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto, Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina, Anambra, Imo, Edo, and Borno States, were all present at the briefing.
In a related development, Emefiele offered that the bank has also partnered with tertiary institutions in the country to champion the “University–Based Poultry Production Programme” which will involve 12 universities across Nigeria’s six geo-political zones. He spoke of the recent move as key to fostering innovation in the poultry business.
Five Nigerian universities have already been selected for the pilot phase of this new initiative and they include Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
These universities are believed to have submitted revised proposals to their respective sponsoring banks.
Featured Image Courtesy: icirnigeria.org