Written by Sarah NEGEDU

FCTA denies abandoning Bwari fish farm estate

The FCT Administration has denied reports that it has abandoned the Bwari Fish Farm Estate, insisting that the information is false as fish production is currently going on in the estate.

The director of administration and finance at the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mr. Ibe Chukwuemeka, who was reacting to a media report that the 10 hectares fish farm estate lacks basic infrastructure after seven years of its launch, explained that government has continually developing infrastructure on the site.

“Our attention has been drawn to a publication claiming that we have abandoned the Bwari fish farm estate. Contrary to that information, I can confirm that we have not. The FCT Administration is seriously committed to realization of the goals of that project.

“The fishing sector has the potential of meeting our consumption requirement, which is why the FCT administration agreed to set up fish farming estates in all the Area Councils of the territory.

“As a matter of fact Bwari is ongoing, the only problem is that some of the allottees have ulterior motives, some are trying to converts the lands to other purposes like residential buildings instead of fishing and that is not acceptable. They have refused to show up to develop their plots as required.”

He added that contract was recently awarded for water projects at the fish farm estate in Bwari, noting that that will contribute to the success of fish farming in the area.

“As you know, water is critical for the success of fish farming I am sure that project will be completed before the middle of next year baring any funding challenges.”

Making further clarifications, on the project the director of fisheries, ARDS, Mrs. Ifeoma Okeke, said skeletal services are currently going on the estate.

She said the fish farm estate in Bwari and other councils were set up to meet the domestic fish production required in the FCT.

“Initially we noticed that the private sectors were not interested in fish farming due to the risk of erosion and poaching. We had a huge gap between fish demand and supply, so government decided to set up estates in all the six area councils. We started with Bwari, where we acquired 10 hectares of land.

“The concept is that government having gotten the safe land, will put the infrastructure while interested farmers will develop their plots and commence production.

“Yes the estate was commissioned some years back, most of the plots there have at least three plots each and government has started infrastructural development there and contracts have been awarded for the remaining infrastructure. The water, drainages, road and electricity and by the middle of next year, all the infrastructural requirements would have been met.”

She said when completed, “Each plot is expected to produce about 600kg of fish multiply that by a minimum of 3 plots per allocation and the number of allottees, then you realise that the project will go a long way in bridging the gap the fish demand in the FCT.”

The ARDS has therefore given allottees marching order to start developing their plots or risk having them being revoked by the middle of next year when development of infrastructures would have been completed in the fishing estate.

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