PLIGHT OF FISH FARMER ON LIVE TILAPIA BREEDERS STOCK TO NIGERIA
National Vice President
Tilapia Aquaculture Developers Association Nigeria.
Our live fish Tilapia breeder stock import is not able to get official forex because those in the CBN refused to listen to us that fish should not have envelope category and that breeder stock is just like parent stock in the Poultry industry.
We source forex from the black market and even CBN makes it difficult to make payments since it is not valid for forex but still have to be on the queue for approval with too many delay.
The Thai breeders sent the fish even without receiving payments from us believing we would pay based on our explanations.
The fish left Thailand and missed the trans shipment in Dubai on Thursday which should have made it land in Nigeria yesterday. Fish came in 72 hours which is 24 hours outside the time limit of 48 hours.
The Nigerian Customs now decided to take the highest tariff of 10% on the fish when they had an option of grouping it under the 5% which was to be used for fishes without category. We had meeting with Ministry of Finance under GEJ to put Tilapia fry and fingerlings in the HS Codes, they refused. We complained to the Federal department of Fisheries Abuja on this matter, but they never did anything till date under the last minister of Agriculture who failed on several fronts because he was never in tune with farmers, but was chasing anything in White skin calling it foreign investors.
The fish came almost all dead on arrival after all the stress. They even delayed it again in Lagos. Plane landed 8.40am and fish was not released till 12.30 pm even when they knew we had issues since yesterday. There was no urgency in solving our predicament even after most of the paper work was done yesterday.
We must have a serious government that can appoint a serious Agriculture minister that will sit down with real stakeholders and understand issues in all sectors if we are to grow as a nation.
This government must let us know if they really want us to do Tilapia Aquaculture in Nigeria or not.
It has been a long day for me today.