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AGRIC MINISTER VISITS FISHING COMPANIES 1st April 2014

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina recently embarked on an unscheduled tour of various fisheries locations in Lagos. This he attributed to the need to ascertain the practical realities on ground, against the backdrop of the country’s target of achieving self sufficiency in fish production within the next four years – under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA).

The fishing companies visited included Onward Fisheries Nigeria Limited, Mid-Atlantic and Atlantic Shrimpers Limited situate in the Iganmu and Apapa areas of Lagos. At Onward Fisheries, the Minister’s Team found fish in store at an advanced level of rancidity. The Minister expressed concerns about the fact that such fish was being sold to Nigerians. “What worries me is that you can sell these kind of products to Nigerians and endanger their health and well-being all on account of trying to make money, this cannot continue” an incensed Adesina stated, thereafter ordering that seven out of the fifteen cold rooms on location be sealed-up immediately.

At Mid- Atlantic, a company earlier apprehended for illegal trawling activities, the Minister quizzed the Operations Manager, one Mr. Lucky German on why they were involved in illegal fishing. According to German, their Managing Director, Mr. Robinson Omemia was away to Abuja trying to renew his fishing license. A visibly livid Minister underscored the displeasure of government with the activities of economic saboteurs, like the six Chinese migrant workers caught on board the company’s trawler. “You people are doing fishy business in our waters, you drive away our fishermen and turn this into a poverty industry for our nationals” he lashed out, “I am not going to allow this happen anymore. No country in the world allows this kind of rubbish that i am seeing here”.

There was however something to cheer when the Minister visited the premises of Atlantic Shrimpers Limited where he expressed delight at the fish processing plant operated by the company and pledged the support of government for genuine and productive investors in the Nigerian agricultural sector. Speaking to the Managing Director of the company, Mr. Kamlesh Kabra, Adesina said; “I love to associate myself with companies like yours”. (view images)

Media link 1 | Media link 2

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