Monday, June 06, 2016 9:27AM /FBNQuest Research
Nigeria’s aquaculture industry is largely untapped. Poor access to credit, a lack of the requisite technical skills, and the unavailability of good quality and moderately priced fish feed are among the roadblocks inhibiting its expansion.
Nigeria’s total annual fish demand is estimated at 2.7 million metric tonnes (mmt). Just 30% of this demand is met domestically, resulting in an annual spend of N125bn (US$625m) on fish imports.
In Ghana total fish consumption is estimated at slightly over 1.0 mmt, half of which is sourced locally. In Côte d’Ivoire consumption is 300,000 mt and only 33% is sourced locally.
Nigeria’s per capita fish consumption is 11kg; this is significantly lower than the global average of 21kg and just less than the estimate of 13.5kg for Côte d’Ivoire.
Fx sourcing issues have led to a decline in imports generally. Industry sources suggest that for this year, as at end-March permits for 520,000 mt of fish imports had been issued.
In March the Association of Indigenous Seafood Stakeholders of Nigeria hinted at a possible fish scarcity in the short to medium term.
The national accounts for Q1 2016 show that the fisheries segment grew by 3.3% y/y, compared with 7.0% posted in the corresponding period of 2015. The slowdown in the rate of expansion mirrors the macro challenges for the economy as a whole.
Given the fish supply gap domestically as well as across the West African sub-region, Nigeria is capable of becoming not only self-reliant for its aquaculture needs but also serving as an exporting hub for other countries in the sub-region.
However, the FGN first needs to support fish industry players across the country by creating an enabling business environment for the segment to thrive.