The Nigerian Trawler Owners Association (NTOA) generates N8 billion annually, according to its President, Sam Azebeokahi.
Azebeokahi, who stated this Monday in Abuja in an interview with newsmen noted that the amount was mainly from export oriented products.
He said that in spite of the remarkable contributions to national development government policies had not been favourable to the association.
He said that the association was still faced with various challenges that affected its performance.
Azebeokahi said that for sustainability in the sector there was need for government intervention mostly in the areas of consumables like spare parts, and diesel.
He said that government should give the association adequate consideration in ensuring the procurement of diesel directly from the depot or refineries instead of the open market.
“We are not saying government should subsidise, but let them create an enabling environment for us as they did in the aviation sector,” he said.
Azebeokahi said that diesel consumed 60 per cent of the association’s production input as against 20 per cent two years ago.
The president said that the association should be considered for a waiver and tariff reduction in the area of fishing equipment, especially the trawlers and spare parts.
He said that as at today in the international market a well equipped trawler cost 1.5 million dollars, while the duty was 10 per cent of the cost.
He said that government should look into the issue of incessant piracy on the high seas,
which, he added, had resulted in the loss of lives, manpower and finances.
The president said that there was urgent need for government to strengthen the security apparatus of both the navy and police high sea patrol team to adequately protect the country’s territorial water.
He said that all these areas should be looked into for sustainability in the fishing industry to be guaranteed