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Nigeria: Illegal fish importers to pay $250, 000 fine or face 5-year imprisonment – Ministry of Agriculture

Nigeria: Illegal fish importers to pay $250, 000 fine or face 5-year imprisonment – Ministry of Agriculture
  • Comments   -   Thursday, 09 March 2017 - 19:00

(Ecofin Agency) - The Federal Government has revealed plans to prosecute those who import frozen fishes through Nigerian borders illegally. This is aimed at stimulating local production and exports.

The government in this framework plans to set up a taskforce to seal and prosecute operators of cold rooms selling illegally imported produce.

According to the Minister of state for Agriculture and Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri, the offenders would be fined a sum of $250,000 or spend five years in prison.

Lokpobiri noted that the illegal venture has resulted in a huge loss of revenue, decreased local production and resulted in job losses.

The smuggling of unhealthy frozen fish into the country is detrimental to the progress being made toward guaranteeing the good health and nutrition of Nigerians. We will continue to partner with the Nigeria Customs Service, the Navy, marine policy to see how we can clamp down on the offenders. Even those that have brought the produce into the country, we are setting up a taskforce that will go round different cold rooms, like what Customs is doing to rice,’’ he said.

Nigeria’s annual demand for fish is currently at 3.2 million tonnes for a production 1.3million tonnes.

Anita Fatunji

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