The Nigeria Trawler Owners Association (NITOA) said it acquired a total of 18 vessels in the last one year at a whopping cost of a billion naira each, despite the economy recession and relative security challenges in the nation’s waterways.
The trawlers said the fishing industry has continued to grow in leaps and bounds following the acquisition of new fleets by respective members of the association, just as they adduced the high cost of the vessels to the exchange rates of naira to a dollar.
Akinsola Amire, president of NITOA, while giving a statistical detail on the development, said that there has been significant improvement in the fishing industry particularly in the past one year. He however lamented that the economic situation in country has made many fishing companies to close down or merged.
“There were about 35 fishing companies in Nigeria about ten years ago but due to economic quagmire in the country, a large number of the operators have left while some other merged together thereby reducing the number of fleet to sixteen,” he said.
“There is significant improvement in the last one year, about 10 vessels have been added and I know that as at today, we are expecting about eight others that are already ordered, I think we are making progress because the cost of one vessel is about a billion naira now,” he added.
Speaking on insecurity on the nation’s maritime space, the NITOA helmsman said the trawlers have hardly felt the presence on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on securing the waterways, noting that the Nigerian Navy has improved considerably in securing the waterways compared to what it used to be in the past.
He indeed commended the Nigerian Navy for effective policing of the nation’s maritime space.
“I think most sincerely, the Nigerian Navy is improving on its performances, response time,” he said.