Lagos — The Federal Government through the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has given approval to 39 companies out of 200 that applied for licenses for fish importation.
Speaking to Sweetcrudereports on the sideline of the just concluded Seafood Seminar organized by the Norwegian Seafood Council held in Lagos, a Director in the department, Dr. Ime Umoh said that most that applications were turned down because they could not meet the requirement for them to be given licenses to import fish.
Umoh also said that most of the disqualified applicant had issues with their tax clearance and other documentation adding that the processing of granting approval to importers is done once a year.
He explained that apart from the documentation that must perfected, the applicant must also have a proper storage capacity as part of the requirement.
He said; “151 applicants did not meet the requirements, only 39 were given licenses to import fish for this year.
‘‘We profile these applicant, look at their experiences as traders before we give approval and the approval process is done once a year, the next round of approval will next year.
‘‘Some people got approval last year but did not utilize their licenses last year maybe because they did not have the capacity to import.
‘‘We know the faces of frozen importers but traders in stockfish and stockfish heads are still a mystery to us because they are unknown to us. As a department, we want a relationship with these importers .
‘‘As a Ministry, we want to be close so that we can resolve our issues together as they arise