Six New Fish Markets For FCT - Minister

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ABUJA, July 22, (THEWILL) - The FCT Administration is establishing Fish Farm Estates in all the six Area Councils of the Federal Capital Territory where Fish Markets will also be sited.

The FCT Minister, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed dropped this hint, while inaugurating the new Executive Committee members of the FCT Chapter of the Nigerian Union of Fishermen and Seafood Dealers (NUFAS) today in his office in Abuja.

The Minister said that in order to actualize this dream; the FCT Administration has

already completed the pilot scheme of the Fish Farm Estate including the market in Bwari Area Council which he revealed would be commission soon.

Senator Mohammed at the occasion directed the Secretary of the FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat to as a matter of urgency critically look into the FCT International Fish Market, Kado-Abuja to find ways of modernizing its equipment/operations and bring it at par with its contemporaries in other parts of the World with the target of self-sustenance; insisting that Abuja remains the window in which the World sees Nigeria.

The Minister called for closer cooperation between the Union and the FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat; stressing that such relationship will avail the membership of the Union with technical knowhow and in-depth knowledge of the current happenings around the globe on the sub-sector which will go a long way to assist them.

According to him, the cooperation and collaboration will also assist in bringing down the high cost of fish to a level of affordability to the ordinary residents of the Federal Capital Territory as there will be more fish in our markets while the natural law of demand and supply will come to play.

"We intend to be self-sufficient in fish and other aquaculture products in the next few years as well as for export; and have therefore put in place a viable strategy to achieve these objectives," Senator Mohammed said.

The Minister assured that his administration will give sufficient support to fishery extension services to improve the productive efficiency of fishermen in the Territory.

Senator Mohammed further assured that the FCT Administration will consider genuine requests for land in the Fish Farm Estates being established in the Territory; and shall embark on a programme of re-seeding numerous natural fish ponds and water bodies in the Territory with adequate fingerlings to boost fish production.

The Minister expressed the resolve of his administration to collaborate more than ever with the members of the Organized Private Sector in order to achieve the goals of its economic reforms and development as well as creating more employment opportunities for the residents of the Federal Capital Territory.

While congratulating the entire membership of the Union for being able to organize a credible election to usher in new officials and being able to successfully bring all stakeholders in this sub-sector together for the past four years from the first time of the Union’s inauguration on Tuesday, July 25, 2006, he enjoined them to be steadfast and contribute their quota not only towards artisanal fisheries and aquaculture development in FCT but also to the stability and security of the entire 8,000 square kilometre of the Territory.

Responding on behalf of the new executive members, the Chairman, Yunusa Halidu appreciated the positive new policies chunked out as it affects fishery sub-sector; stating that the Fish Farm Estates when commissioned will go a long way in improving fish farming in the Territory thereby improving the fortunes of his members.

He promised to cooperate with the FCT Administration to take fish production to the next level in the FCT.

The Chairman however lamented the high level of illiteracy and ignorance amongst members which he noted has affected production and supply of fish in the fishing communities; thus called for capacity building.

He stated that since crop farmers enjoy hiring of farm implements like tractors, fishermen should be given the opportunity of 40 percent from the N1 billion Federal Government loan to farmers.

The members of the new executive committee are Yunusa Halidu –Chairman; Yusuf Baba -Vice Chairman I; Ola Mike -Vice Chairman II and Ibrahim Zakari - Secretary; Aminu Adamu-Treasurer; Alhaji Shehu Dangida -Financial Secretary.

Others are Ibrahim Okpale, P.R.O; Sylvester Ekemhaye, Welfare Officer; Evelyn Nasamu (Mrs.), Women Leader; Celestine Chibuzo, Auditor; Alhaji Ibrahim Suleiman, Provost; Alhaji Ali Abubakar, Chairman Ex-Officio; Alhaji Ibrahim Garkwa, Zonal Inspector; and Mr. Abadnego, Zonal Inspector.