1. Profile
    1. Basic legislation
    2. Legal definition
    3. Guidelines and codes of conduct
    4. International arrangements
  2. Planning
    1. Authorization system
    2. Access to land and water
    3. EIA
  3. Operation
    1. Water and wastewater
    2. Fish movement
    3. Disease control
    4. Drugs
    5. Feed
  4. Food safety
    1. Miscellaneous
      1. References
        1. Legislation
        2. Related resources
      2. Related links
        Basic legislation
        Nigeria has no specific legislation on aquaculture at national level, nor is this activity mentioned in the Sea Fisheries Decree and Regulations (respectively 1992 and 1971). However, the Inland Fisheries Decree (1992) makes a single provision empowering the Minister in charge of fisheries matters to determine whether the set up of enclosures, such as pens and cages, should be subject to a licence fee. Only federal legislation will be reviewed in the present study.

        From an institutional point of view, the authority competent for the management of fisheries and for the preparation of policies and programmes for the development of fisheries is the Federal Department of Fisheries (FDF) of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, which provides technical support to State Departments of Fisheries (SDF). Likewise, the latter provide support to Local Government Authorities (LGA) on fisheries matters. Moreover, fisheries and aquaculture research is carried out by the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR) and by the National Institute for Freshwater Fisheries Research (NIFFR), while aquaculture training is ensured by the African Regional Aquaculture Centre (ARAC).
        Legal definition
        There is no legal definition of aquaculture.
        Guidelines and codes of conduct
        There are no guidelines or codes of conduct on aquaculture.
        Nevertheless, the Ajayi, F.O.A., Fish Feed Alternatives for Small-Scale Aquaculture, University of Agriculture (Abeokuta, Nigeria) provides unofficial guidelines on fish feed.
        International arrangements
        Nigeria is a member of WTO (World Trade Organization) and has ratified both the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Biosafety Protocol. Nigeria is also a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

        From a regional perspective, Nigeria has signed the Revised Convention for the Establishment of the Niger Basin Authority (Convention revisée portant à la Création de l'Autorité du Bassin du Niger) (N'djamena, 1987), which replaces the Niger River Commission, and the Convention and Statutes concerning the development of the Chad Basin (Convention et Statuts relatifs à la mise en Valeur du Bassin du Tchad) (Yaoundé, 1964), which establishes the Chad Basin Commission. Other parties to the former convention are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, and Chad, whereas only Cameroon, Niger, and Chad take part to the latter.
        Authorization system
        The Sea Fisheries Decree only regulates a specific type of authorization (operation and navigation of motorized fishing boats) to be issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, which cannot be analogically applied to aquaculture. No other provisions were found.
        Access to land and water
        According to the Land Use Act (1978, as amended), State Governors have the power “to grant statutory rights of occupancy to any person for all purposes”, and Local Government shall “grant customary rights of occupancy to any person or organisation for the use of land in the Local Government Area for agricultural, residential and other purposes”. The law does not specifically mention aquaculture purposes.

        In contrast, water management is vested in the Federal Government, as stated by the Water Resources Decree (1993). Accordingly, the Secretary for Water Resources has the power to “prohibit or regulate the carrying out of any activities on land or water which is likely to interfere with the quantity or quality of any water in any water course or groundwater”. Free use of water is allowed for minor purposes: the licensing system established by the Decree only concerns the diversion, storage and use of water on a commercial scale for the construction, maintenance, operation, repair of hydraulic works. No reference is made to agricultural water use in general, or to aquaculture activities in particular.
        The Environmental Impact Assessment Decree (1992) provides that, in general, any project or activity which might significantly affect the environment is subject to an environmental impact assessment. Applications are to be filed with the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA).

        The Schedule to the Decree contains a list of activities subject to the full EIA process, which entails a mandatory study of the project and a preparation of a mandatory study report. As far as aquaculture is concerned, only “land based aquaculture projects accompanied by clearing of mangrove swamp forests covering an area of 50 hectares or more” are subject to the full process. Some activities are exempted from the EIA system, such as those mentioned in special exclusion lists issued by the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces or by the Federal Environmental Protection Council. Finally, activities that are neither included in the Schedule to the Decree nor mentioned in the exclusion lists may only require a screening of the project (focusing on the potential effects of the project and on the mitigation measures) and the preparation of a screening report.

        Subsequently, projects may be referred to mediation or to a review panel, through the Council, whenever the Agency deems the occurrence of non mitigable effects or when public concern arises. The mediation, which implies the appointment of a mediator by the Council, is prescribed only when it is likely to have a positive outcome and if the affected parties are willing to participate. In any other case or should the mediation fail, the project shall be referred to a review panel, composed of expert members appointed by the Council. The EIA process also includes the submission of a follow-up program to verify the accuracy of the study and the effectiveness of the mitigation measures.

        The EIA Decree details the minimum content of any environmental study (screening, mandatory study, mediation or review panel assessment), as follows:
        • Description of proposed activities.
        • Description of concerned area.
        • Description of the practical activities, as appropriate (sic).
        • Potential environmental impact and alternatives.
        • Possible mitigation measures.
        • Uncertainty degree and reliability of the information.
        • Potential effects in other States, Local Governments or in foreign territories.
        • Brief and non technical summary of the study.
        Additional factors are taken into account, depending on whether a simple screening or a full mandatory study is required.

        Eventually, should the activity be likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects that would not be mitigable or justified, the Agency shall refute the project. Otherwise, it may authorize its commencement. The procedure leads to the granting of a certificate stating the EIA completion.
        Water and wastewater
        The FEPA Interim Guidelines and Standards for Environmental Pollution Control in Nigeria (1991) set forth limitations on effluents and industrial emissions, as well as water quality standards (at point of intake) for industrial use. No specific reference is made to aquaculture.

        Furthermore, according to the Water Resources Decree, the Secretary for Water Resources is in charge of regulating the safe disposal of sewage, effluent and water-borne waste and is responsible for the control and prevention of pollution.
        Fish movement
        The Inland Fisheries Decree provides that the import and export of live aquatic species is subject to an authorization to be issued by the Minister in charge of fisheries. Procedural details are not available in the reviewed legislation.
        Disease control
        No specific provisions on animal health and disease control were found.
        The matter is regulated by the Food and Drugs Act, Decree No.35 (1974). Unfortunately, a copy of this text could not be obtained.

        The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration, created and regulated by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control Decree (1993, as amended), is the competent authority for these matters.
        See § on drugs above.
        Food safety
        See § on drugs above.

        The Inland Fisheries Decree provides that the trade of fish or fish products treated with noxious chemicals, or otherwise contaminated or spoiled, is forbidden.

        The Interim Guidelines and Standards for Environmental Pollution Control in Nigeria establish water quality standards for the food and beverage industry, including food processing. No specific reference is made to fish products.
        Aquaculture investment 
        No specific provisions.
        Food and Drugs Act – Decree No.35 (1974). (Copy not available).
        Related resources

        faolexSearch parameters: country=NGA, Keywords=aquaculture;mariculture
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        Title of textDate of textConsolidated dateEntry into forceCountries
        Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON) - Fisheries Rules and Regulations in 23 States of Nigeria: a Note (by Salzwedel, H., Gulma, M.M. and Lemu, I.A.), in 2001 FISON Conference Proceedings FAO Fisheries Library – Reference No: P669-F53.
        International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) – Nigeria - Artisanal Fisheries Development Project - Appraisal Report – 1988. (See §III on Government Policy and Institutions)FAO Fisheries Library – Reference No: (669) 3.1
        Madu, C.T. Fish Farming Practices in Nigeria. In 17(3) NIFFR (National Institute for Freshwater Fisheries Research) Newsletter 3 (2000).
        Related links
        Country profiles: Nigeria
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