Artisanal Fishermen operating along the Atlantic coastline in Niger Delta said that the daily cash withdrawal limit introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has crippled their fishing vocation.
Rev Samuel Ayadi, Niger Delta Coordinator, Artisan Fishermen Association of Nigeria (ARFAN) said on Tuesday in Yenagoa that fuel scarcity and cash scarcity dealt a heavy blow to fishermen.
He said that since the introduction of the ₦20,000 daily withdrawal limit, fishermen have found it impossible to raise cash to fuel their outboard engines for fishing expeditions.
He said that members of the association have suspended fishing activities due to the exorbitant cost of fuel and scarcity of cash.
“Our fishermen in the rural areas cannot survive the exhorbitant cost of the look which is currently above ₦500 per litre, and the second obstacle is the ₦20,000 withdrawal limit.
“Our fishing depend heavily on petrol, a typical outboard engine requires at least 200 litres for a fishing trip and that amounts to N100,000 for just one boat and raising such cash from few Point of Sale (PoS) terminal operators has been a challenge.
“There are no banks here at the creeks and rural coastline fishing camps and our business activities are dominated by cash. For two weeks now, we have pulled out of the waters and do not know what to do,” Ayadi said.
He explained that besides the cash scarcity, sourcing petrol at about N500 per litre and passing the cost to the consumer would make fish unaffordable to ordinary Nigerians.
Ayadi appealed to the federal government to ensure that the floating Megastations that served coastal settlements were restored to save the rural fishing economy from imminent collapse adding that fuel and cash scarcity were adversely affecting fish supply.
He said that members of the association, as patriotic Nigerians remain committed to providing fish which remains the cheapest source of protein to ensure food security.
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