Nigeria’s former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has decried the high cost of diesel while lamenting its effect on his fish farming business.
Obasanjo who spoke in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun state, during South-west fish farmers’ congress held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) said “The price of diesel has gone high because the management of this country is not what it should to be. And it is as simple as that.
“Then, what will happen is that, particularly those of us who have to use a bit of diesel in producing fish, we will completely go bankrupt, and when that happens, Nigerians will still have to eat fish.
“Fish production will be out of reach and then, people will be producing fish outside Nigeria and be dumping it here. And you will go jobless, poor and indigent. So, what do we have to do? To come together…we want to sustain fish production and we must be able to take care of those who are going to eat and those of us who are producing.”
Turning to the farmers, he asked: “How many of you are using diesel in your production? Because I use diesel and I’m already sweating. I’m already sweating.”
The President of South-West Fish Farmers Price Sustainability Group, Amo Tunbosun Amo, disclosed that the country currently consumes around 3.6 million metric tonnes of fish annually but only produce 1.12 million tonnes leaving a balance of 2.6 million tonnes to be imported.
Amo explained that one of the major challenges confronting the fish farmers is the continued increase in the prices of inputs in the production of fish and majorly the feed and the refusal of the buyers to buy the fish at a commensurate price.
He said: “This is the essence of this gathering, we find out that we have to take our destiny in our hands, we can’t continue to produce and be at the mercy of the buyers, we felt we need to come around and do something for ourselves. We are starting with Southwest and in a matter of time it will be all over the country.”
Meanwhile, a special report published by NewsWireNGR, unveiled how climate change is dwindling fish catch in Nigeria as it alters fishers’ sea level forecast.
Nigerian fishermen forecast the tide to determine when it would be high, and their forecasts have always been correct prior to the increasing influence of climate change and the high sea level rise. Sadly, the effects of climate change have altered their forecasts.
One of the interviewed fishers in the report, Mr Adolphus who has lived at the Fishermen estate, in Marine Base, Southern Nigeria, for thirty years, visiting several rivers in the Rivers State to capture a variety of fish said; “There are times we predict that the river will not be high, but before we know it, the river will be high.
“By the time we follow our prediction and enter the river, the river will be high and we won’t see any fish to catch,” Adolphus recalled other occasions when he had gone into the river to fish in the hopes that the tide would be low. Unfortunately, the tide got high, and he had to come home empty-handed.“
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