FG frowns at illegal stockfish importation

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has tasked stockfish and seafood importers on proper documentation in order to avoid illegal importation.

Mr James Umoru of FMARD’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department made the call at a one-day interactive workshop organised by the Norwegian Seafood Council on Wednesday in Lagos.

The workshop had in attendance stakeholders from the private sector and government regulators from various ministries to promote stockfish trade and boost local aquaculture.

Umoru urged the importers of stockfish to go through the proper documentation and avoid illegal importation.

He also encouraged the importers to register with the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture for accurate data capturing of stockfish imports.

“Anyone that wants to go into importation of stockfish must first be licensed by the Agric. Ministry via the fisheries department.

“We do not want anybody to import stockfish into this country illegally. We want to have full control over that case.

“We want to have a complete detail of what we bring into the country in terms of fish,” Umoru added.

On her part, Mrs Felicia Udeh, an assistant Director at the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, lauded the efforts of the Norwegian Seafood Council in the nation’s aquaculture sector.

Udeh said that the Federal Government would continue to support and promote the development of the non-oil sector.

“The Norwegian Seafood Council is doing so well. As a government representatives, one of our major responsibilities or mandates is to promote the non-oil sector of the economy.

“We try as much as possible to create an enabling environment for the organised private sectors so that their businesses can thrive.

“We want to encourage the Norwegians as long as they want to continue to do business with us, the government of Nigeria will continue to create an enabling environment for them to thrive,” Udeh said.

The Africa Director, Norwegian Seafood Council, Mr Trond Kostveit, called for viable business collaboration between both countries.

“We encourage this continuous relationship with Nigeria as we continue to work together in meetings like this which creates an avenue where we can exchange our views.

“This is a possibility for the two countries to become even closer and strengthen their friendships even closer than what we have been doing.

“It is amazing to see how aborigine stockfish is popular in Nigeria and as our biggest importers, we want to foster the relationship,” Trond said

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