By Adejoke Monsurat
The Ogun State Government in collaboration with the Federal Government has provided a state-of-the-art aquaculture hub at Ibiade in Ogun Waterside Local Government Area.
The aquaculture hub is a YOU-WIN initiative of the Federal Government, targeted at empowering youths in profitable enterprises.
Speaking while taking delivery of the hub, the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, affirmed that the State had benefited from synergy with the Federal governments’ agricultural agenda in the area of food and nutrition, insecurity, employment generation, poverty eradication, among others.
Governor Abiodun represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina, stated that the edifice would complement the existing record of the State being the biggest hub of aquaculture activities in West Africa.
He thanked the Federal Government for choosing Ogun as a worthy beneficiary of the facility, assuring that it would be put to good use.
“At the inception of this administration, an unprecedented number of youths registered for agricultural opportunities, and the Ministry of Agriculture is directed to mainstream the aquaculture hub into the State’s resources to support youths who have already showed interest in the business”, Abiodun said.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. (Mrs.) Zainab Ahmed, revealed that the activities embedded in the project were aimed at promoting entrepreneurship as a viable career option for youths, which would translate to creating more jobs and wealth for them.
Ahmed noted that the aquaculture facility comprising 30 fish ponds with stores, hatchery, feed mill, a training centre and one acre of vegetable garden, would serve as a model which would jump-start budding youth entrepreneurs in the sector.
National President of the Catfish Association of Nigeria (CAFAN), Mr. Onoja Musa, said the drive had shown government’s commitment to encouraging and empowering youths by investing in fish farming, adding that it was a means of achieving the diversification plan into the non-oil sector.
The Alarige of Ibiade, Oba Bola Raimi, represented by the Asiwaju of Ogun Waterside, Chief Dele Odulaja, expressed delight about the facility being located in his domain, promising to collaborate with other stakeholders to ensure its proper maintenance and security.