ASSESSING ECONOMIC AND WELFARE VALUES OF FISH IN NIGERIA (A case study of lower Niger River)

ASSESSING ECONOMIC AND WELFARE VALUES OF FISH IN NIGERIA (A case study of lower Niger River)

ASSESSING ECONOMIC

INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background of the study
Fish farming is one of the important sectors of Nigeria’s economy. Its role in economic development cannot be overemphasized. The history of fish farming can be traced back to, at-least to the mid-eighteenth century, and which was central to the early development of the analytical economics by Adam Smith, David Richardo, and Thomas Malthius. Typically, 30 to 40 percent of the national income is produced in fish farming and 40 to 60 percent of her labour force is engaged in fish farming.

However, fish farming has four major roles to play in the economic and welfare values of the nation. These are, to increase the supply of protein for domestic consumption, to release labour for industrial output, to increase the supply of domestic savings and to earn foreign exchange and the final role which is to earn foreign exchange, this helps to open the country for international trade.
Notwithstanding, the roles of fish farming in the country’s economy, fish farming is encountering a lot of problems, which lead to decline and poor performance in the sector. These problems include inadequate funding in the sector, inadequacies in the supply and use of mechanical fishing equipment, unfavorable macro-economic policy; water constraints; poor post-fishing technology; environmental hazards; disease and pest infestation; labour constraints; low rate of adoption of appropriate technology; transportation; low income earning etc. In fact, fish farming in Nigeria is caught in a low level of equilibrium trap.

In the past, attention given to fish farming by government was not encouraging. Fish farming was pushed to the background and fisher men were not introduced to the modern method of fishing which would have gone a long way in helping to boost the economy. Until 1976, during the first Obasanjo regime, alteration was beginning to be given to agriculture and fish farming with launching of operation feed the Nation (OFN). The idea behind OFN was that all Nigerians should join hands together to produce food for ourselves and the nation. Ever since then, successive governments have followed with different programmes all aiming at developing agriculture and fish farming.

More so, government has shown great concern in this wise idea with the establishment of Nigerian Agricultural and co-operative Bank Ltd. (NACB). This bank, which is an apex bank, grants agricultural credit to the agricultural and agro-allied sector of the Nigerian economy. This is carried out through the provision of loans to individuals, co-operatives organizations, limited liability companies, state and federal government agencies.

1.2   Statement of the problem
Fisheries in the lower Niger River is a major contributor of the protein consumed as well as livelihood opportunities on a large scale in Nigeria. However, the absence of a solid estimate of the total economic value of these fisheries, their importance remains very poorly recognized by institutions and in development plans, which hampers rural development. Furthermore the respective role of fish and agricultural resources in the economy and in rural welfare has never been quantified.
1.3   Significance of the study
The overall aim of this project is to quantify the multiple economic and welfare values of fish resources, interpret findings, analyze implications, and convey high level results and implications to national decision-makers, development agencies and local actors, for sustainable and improved rural livelihoods. This information should provide essential guidance for future agriculture and rural development programs aimed at improving welfare in the lower Niger River. 
1.4   Objectives of the study
This study was undertaken majorly to assess the economic and welfare values of fish in the lower Niger River.
Specific objectives of the study are:

  1. To examine the significant influence of fish to the economic values of Nigerians in the lower Niger River.
  2. To ascertain whether fish adds value to the welfare of Nigerians in the lower Niger River.

1.5   Research questions
It is in view of the above problems that the following questions are asked;
1. How does fish influence the economic values of Nigerians in the lower Niger River?
2. Does fish influence the welfare values of Nigerians in the lower Niger River?
1.6   Research hypothesis
Ho: Fish does not significantly influence the economic values of Nigerians.
Hi: Fish significantly influence the economic values of Nigerians.
Ho: Fish does not significantly influence the welfare values of Nigerians.
Hi: Fish significantly influence the welfare values of Nigerians.
1.7   Limitations of the study
The study was carried out to assess the economic and welfare values of fish in the lower Niger river. The study is limited to the lower Niger river in Delta State and this is because of her representative nature of all the river basins in Nigeria, proximity to the researcher, time and financial constraints.
1.8   Scope of the study
This research work is on assessing economic and welfare values of fish.
1.9   Definition of terms
Economic Values: The worth of a good or service as determined by people’s preferences and the tradeoffs they choose to make given their scarce resources, or the value the market places on an item 
Welfare Values: This is the optimal allocation of resources and goods and how this affects
Fish: This is a limbless cold-blooded vertebrate animal with gills and fins living wholly in water
River: This is a large natural stream of water flowing in a channel to the sea, a lake, or another river.
Lower Niger River: This the lower reach of the Niger River can be defined as the segment that flows southeast beginning somewhat above Niamey in Niger and discharging to the Atlantic through the Niger Delta.

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES
Anibeze, C. I. (1995) Fish farming in Nigeria. Enugu: Delta publications Nigeria Ltd.
Atanda, A. N. (2009). Freshwater Fish Seed Resources in Nigeria. Fish Network. 5 (4), 2009.
Ebong, O. V. (2007). Agribusiness Management in a Developing Economy: The Nigerian perspective. Uyo: Robertminder International Publishers.
Eyo, A. A. (2005). Opening Address of NEPAD fish for All summit. Nigerian Fisheries Day of 24th August. Fish Network, 12, 19.
Essen A. A. (2005) The Basics of successful fish Farming in Coastal and semi costal zones of Nigeria. Uyo: Impact venture Nig. Ltd.
Faturoti, O. (2010). Fisheries contribute N126.4Billion to Nigerian economy. Press Release of Federal Ministry of Information and Communications, Abuja.
Fish Network, 11, 1. Fish Network (2009). Positioning the Fisheries Subsector for vision 20-2020. FISON, 5 (4), 9.

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