The Nigerian Stockfish Dealers Association has raised an alarm over the growing challenges faced in the stockfish business in the country.
Chairman of the association, Gregory Ilobinso, spoke with newsmen on Monday in Lagos on the current problems plaguing the trade.
Ilobinso noted that earlier in the year, an appeal was made to the federal government on the removal of stockfish from items placed on the foreign exchange ban list.
According to the chairman, nothing has been done after the appeal while the challenges keep taking their toll on the traders.
“We are barely managing to keep our businesses afloat owing to the growing dollar/naira exchange rate we are witnessing in the country.
“The issue is that dollar is not even available for exchange.
“Notwithstanding, we still have to sell off our stock immediately they arrive because stockfish is highly perishable. We sometimes sell at a loss.
“Because stockfish is perishable, if two importers bring in stockfish at the same time, they will quickly want to sell so as not to run at a loss if the goods perish,” Ilobinso explained.
He said the association had sent a communiqué to the federal government to appeal for the removal of stockfish from the foreign exchange ban since February, but the government had not responded.
“I believe the bureaucracy in government establishments has resulted in the delay of response from the relevant authorities concerned,” Mr Ilobinso said.
He however called for the tackling of insecurity and inflation being witnessed in the country to enable businesses to thrive in Nigeria.
Ilobinso said that these factors had led many persons in the stockfish business to trade in crayfish as an alternative so as to survive.
“The future of stockfish business in Nigeria, as with any other business, is not so bright presently. The insecurity issues we are currently facing has affected our business performance.
“Until these economic uncertainties in our economy are addressed, businesses may still face a lot of challenges.
“The uncertainties create artificial conditions in the market and traders are being skeptical,” he said.