Abuja witnessed the unveiling of the National Aquatic Animal Health Strategy for Nigeria (NAAHS) 2023-2027 by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari. This groundbreaking initiative is directed at confronting the challenges plaguing Nigeria’s aquaculture sub-sector and fortifying the Aquatic Animal Health Services.
A significant move, the strategy aims to boost the international trade of aquatic species like fish, shrimps, and water snails, while also uplifting production, processing, and marketing efforts within the industry.
Notably, this marks the maiden policy under Kyari’s stewardship as the Agric Minister.
Dr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS), shared this advancement. Represented by Dr. Ime Umoh, Director of the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Umakhihe emphasized, “NAAHS offers a comprehensive roadmap to enrich and safeguard fishery production and productivity in Nigeria.”
Further, he highlighted the strategy’s capability to curb the ill effects of aquatic pathogens, safeguarding human health and fortifying the resilience of Nigeria’s marine and terrestrial habitats.
This initiative symbolizes Nigeria’s pledge to the vitality of its aquatic ecosystems, the thriving of its aquatic industry, and the harnessing of the sector’s untapped potentials towards ensuring food and nutritional sustenance.
The Permanent Secretary championed the strategy, calling upon stakeholders to wholeheartedly support and partake in its execution, tapping into the aquatic bounty for Nigeria’s collective benefit.
Endorsing the initiative, Dr. Columba Vakuru, Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria, underscored its importance in pioneering research and innovation in aquatic animal health. He spotlighted the grave implications of diseases on aquatic animals, underlining their adverse effects on food, public health, and the equilibrium of aquatic environments.