Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has decried the rising cost of diesel and its effect on his fish business.
Obasanjo who spoke on Tuesday, August 2 during a southwest fish farmers’ congress held at the presidential library (OOPL) in Ogun state, said the high diesel price may push fish farming into bankruptcy, as he is “already sweating” over the high cost.
The former President also disclosed that with the current price of diesel at N800 a liter, the production of a kilogram of fish is N1,400. He said farmers must not sell less than N1,500 as anything short of that would lead to “outright loss”.
“If we don’t come together as an association, nationally, we will sink individually. If we come together, we will swim and survive together.
“And while we are working on coming together, I thought that the situation has arisen whereby we have to do something urgently.
“The price of diesel has gone sky high because the management of this country is not what it should be. And it is as simple as that.
“Then, what will happen is that particularly those of us who have to use a bit of diesel in producing fish, we will completely go bankrupt, and when that happens, Nigerians will still have to eat fish.”
Expressing fear of fish production becoming extinct in the country, Obasanjo added that this might push “people into producing fish outside Nigeria and dumping it here”.
“And you will go jobless, poor, and, indigent. So, what do we have to do? To come together… we want to sustain fish production, and we must be able to take care of those who are going to eat and those of us who are producing.
“How many of you are using diesel in your production? Because I use diesel, and I’m already sweating. I’m already sweating.”