…Deploys MIDAS technology to 5 airports***
The Federal Government on Tuesday, inaugurated the executive officers of the National Fish Association of Nigeria (NFAN), as part of efforts to reposition the fish sub-sector to meet increasing local demand.
Mr Edet Akpan, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, inaugurated the officers in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said the inauguration was part of the Federal Government’s effort to encourage farmers and other stakeholders in its diversification programme.
The Permanent Secretary said the coming together of all stakeholders in the fish value chain would enable them work in synergy with a common interest to boost production.
He stated that the fact that they have put themselves together, they can now speak with a voice, they can plan their operations from all parts of the country.
“They are all together. With the target, the objective they are pursuing, I am sure the national production of fish will not only increase, the quality and export value will also increase.”
Akpan said the ministry had always being on ground to support commodity associations and would not deviate from the norm.
According to him, we give a lot of support like skills acquisition and training in various aspects of their operations.
“We also introduce them to different organisations like the Bank of Industry, and then SMEDAN is also helping them in many ways through education and organising them in such a way that they have become very formidable.”
The President of NFAN, Dr Gabriel Ogunsanya, said the inauguration had added impetus to the association’s mandate to not only feed Nigerians but work hard to meet the export demand of fish.
He noted that with over five million members across the country, the association was ready to storm the markets with different species of fish to meet both local and international demands.
He also noted that the association was already working to train stakeholders, particularly youths on the use of modern technology to boost fish production.
According to him, the effort will not only increase yield but boost employment opportunity, particularly for the teeming youths.
“We want to use fish industry to generate employment for the youth. I will be canvassing for advanced fishing policy for Nigeria. I saw what Denmark is doing with regard to using technology.
“If we can transfer all these knowledge to our youth, our youth will not have the problem of unemployment.
“We have trained over 6,000 youths. We applied to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to send some experts to join our own experts to train them.”
On border closure, the president said it was a laudable development, saying the association was not resting on its oars in taking advantage of the closure to boost production.
He said, “we will introduce more species of fish and train our youths on how they can culture them. Formerly, we are culturing catfish.
“We want to go into other species, tilapia and other species of fish. This will generate more funds for us, and we will have enough for local consumption and export”, assuring that with the inauguration, the association was better positioned to fight illegal fishing on Nigerian waters.
Ogunsanya said, “we will not allow illegal fishing. Some countries come to our coast to steal our fish. We will do all within our powers, work with law enforcement agencies to avoid illegal fishing.”
A member of the Board of Trustees and former lawmaker, Sen. Maina Lawan, said he would not hesitate to share his wealth of experience in order to move the sub sector to the next level.
Lawan, also a former Borno State Governor, said there were several prospects in the fish subsector that would help improve revenue generation for the country.
He said, “I am a practising farmer. I am deeply into fish farming, aside that, I come from Naha, Borno State.
“There are lots of window for employment. There is a lot of window for people to engage themselves. The prospect of fish farming and the value chain that go with it has no limitations”.
In another development, the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has deployed Migration Information Data Analysis System (MIDAS) to five international airports in the country to boost security.
The NIS Comptroller-General, Mr Muhammad Babandede made this disclosure at the inauguration and installation of MIDAS technology at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja on Tuesday.
MIDAS is a Border Management Information System (BMIS), and it is an IT based solution designed to process and record both biometric details of passenger’s movement.
Babandede said that the technology was to boost border security, which was highly commendable, adding that it would change the way the service does its control at all levels.
“This is a revolution about how our borders would be managed. You may not know that before MIDAS, anyone could just go to the airport with passport, but with the help of MIDAS, we see the validity of the passport.
According to him, the possibility before MIDAS is that people may travel with passport that are genuine and visas that look alike but now, it is not possible because biometric data will match the biometric on the passport.
“MIDAS technology started since 2015. Denmark supported Nigeria through international organisation for migration.
“Investment had been on the land border but this was done for us to extend the facilities to the five international airports.
“Aminu Kano International Airport has been installed. Murtala Muhammed International airport, Lagos is ongoing and now we have inaugurated the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The rest would be done in two weeks,” he said.
The C-G said that the system would be linked to all wanted persons globally with both the international and local ports.
“This is a revolution. It is not only for NIS. It is for all law enforcement agencies, so we will share with them online whatever information we get, they all also get.
“For instance, if you are able to cheat in an examination and someone is looking for you to prosecute you, we might be able to know.
“Or if you have cheated with your driver’s licence by killing someone on the street and we have your data, we will be able to know if it was you because your bio-metric may match and we will detect it was you who committed murder on the street, ” he said.
The Representative of Royal Kingdom of Denmark, Mr Nicolai Ruge said that it was necessary because the government believes that systems such as MIDAS were central everywhere in the world in order to be able to control the data of the passengers brought on board.