THE restriction of access of Foreign Exchange (forex) on the importation of Stock Fish has affected both the export of the commodity from Norway tom Nigeria and Vice Visa.
Speaking to Vanguard in Lagos during a tour of the Stock Fish market in Oyingbo, Lagos, Eivind Fjeldstad, Businsess Counsellor at the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Abuja, said that the Norwegian Government is very hopeful that the Government of Nigeria will remove stock fish from the list of commodities banned from access to official foreign exchange window because Nigeria is the biggest market for the Norwegian stock fish in Africa.
Fjeldstad also said that the importation of stock fish is not in competition with local fish production in Nigeria adding that the commodity is also the cheapest source of protein in Nigeria.
He explained that importers are being challenged by first of all sourcing Forex at a very exorbitant rate before placing order and this development has also brought about an increase in the cost of stock fish in the Nigerian market.
He said: "Nigeria is the largest market for stock fish in Africa and we hope it will continue that way and it is also up to the Central Bank of Nigeria to help us maintain this source of affordable protein.
"I have never seen this stock fish market myself, it is a great experience for and a great way to see where the stock fish reach the final consumers in Nigeria."
Similarly, a fishery Consultant, Mrs. Abiodun Cheke said that about 85 percent of stock fish production in Norway finds its way to the Nigerian markets annually noting that the Norwegian government also commenced training of both officials of Nigerian government and private fish farmers in the ethics and sustainable way of aquaculture production so that Nigerian fish farmed products can access European and other international markets.