The Norwegian Seafood Council says Nigeria is the country’s largest stockfish importer. It disclosed this in Lagos, during a one-day interactive workshop with stakeholders and regulatory authorities involved in stockfish and seafood import and export trade in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is the largest importer of Norwegian stockfish, and the product has long traditions in Nigerian cuisine. In 2022, Norway exported more than 10,000 metric tonnes of stockfish to Nigeria,” the Norwegian Seafood Council stated.
It however noted that exports to Nigeria and the most common products declined in 2023, as both volumes and values had a significant reduction.
The general trend of recession in the Nigerian market coupled with difficulties related to currency has halted the import of Norwegian seafood, it added.
Other imported species, it added, suffered as well.
It stated, “Herring has a reduction of 95 percent both in volume and value. Mackerel is down by 47 percent in volume and 40 percent in value.”
Director for Africa, Norwegian Seafood Council, Mr Tronds Kostveit, noted the supply of quality stockfish in the Nigerian market.
He noted that a lot of Nigerians were employed in importing, storing and selling the stockfish
He said, “Our stockfish is of top quality. It is the best cod we have in Norway and the world and we are so happy that it has become a very important part of Nigerian cuisine.”
Kostveit noted that last year, it decided to organise a workshop for competence building in aquaculture, and how Nigeria could export and make more forex asides from oil.
The Minister, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, said, the seafood industry contributed largely to the economy and food supply.
According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, he said, in the first quarter of 2013, Nigeria exported frozen shrimp and prawns worth N5.13bn.
“It also provides employment opportunities along the entire value chain from fishing to processing and marketing,” he said.