Borno State Gov., Babagana Zulum, has set up a committee to revive the harvesting, processing and selling of fish from the Lake Chad Basin following clearance from the chief of army Staff, Lt. -Gen . Tukur Buratai.
Lake Chad is one of Africa’s largest freshwater bodies and a source of livelihood for millions of people, including many facing complex humanitarian crisis due to widespread violence across the region that has left countless in need of emergency assistance.
While inaugurating the committee at the Government House in Maiduguri, Zulum said that the military’s ban was a result of allegations that Boko Haram had used fish proceeds to finance its activities in Borno State and other neighboring states of Adamawa and Yobe.
Zulum stated that about five years ago, the military banned fishing and other related activities including the processing and selling of fish as a result of intelligence reports that Boko Haram members had taken over the fish value chain in Lake Chad region and Sambisa forest as part of terrorism financing strategies.
Lake Chad Basin combines rich agriculture, pastoralism and fishing, and is a magnet for migrants from all over the Sahel. Boko Haram is taken advantage of the geography of the lake, seeking refuge on its many islands.
The lake supplies water to about 30 million people living in the four countries surrounding it, the bulk of whom are Nigerians., It also has the potential to provide over 300 metric tons of fish annually, representing about 12.2% of the total fish protein demand of Nigeria.
While responding to the task, Borno State’s attorney general and commissioner of justice , Kaka Shehu Lawan, who serves as the chairman of the committee , commended the governor for finding them worthy to carry out the task.