The Lagos state government has donated 34 fibre glass boats with outboard engines and other ancillary fishing equipment to cooperative societies of 680 youth fishermen.
Abisola Olusanya, the Commissioner for Agriculture, made the presentation to the beneficiaries at the Agricultural Development Authority complex, Oko-Oba, Agege, on Wednesday.
Olusanya said that the empowerment was under the 2021 Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Activation Programme, inaugurated by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu in July as part of the government’s commitment to supporting the fishery value chain.
She said that it was envisaged that the deployment of the fishing assets would create over 2,000 jobs in the upstream and downstream sub-sectors of the artisanal fisheries value chain, as well as to produce 4,531 metric tonnes of fish annually.
Olusanya said that each cooperative group comprising 20 members each would receive a boat.
She noted that the ministry was also partnering with Ecobank and Old Mutual Assurance, to provide banking services, track cash flow in the business and aid fleet expansion for the fishermen.
The commissioner said that the partnership was aimed at monitoring the activities of each cooperative group to ensure that they make judicious use of the equipment.
“Today, we are distributing the fibre glass boat to 34 cooperative groups free of charge, under the 2021 Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Activation Programme.
“We need to monitor your activities to ensure that you utilise the equipment very well and also expand and increase the number of your fleet with the support of the financial institution.
“The banks are here to plan your business and increase opportunities for the generations to come.
“We want you all to grow your business and become multinational companies. We don’t want people to come from Japan, Netherlands and other foreign countries to talk about fish more than our people from the local fishing communities,” she said.The commissioner further said that banks have been phenomenal and have helped to develop business models that would be suitable for the fishermen.“We did not collect a kobo from any group or person to benefit from this empowerment. The governor has paid for everything and our job is to distribute and ensure that they are judiciously utilised,” she said.Olusanya recalled that the governor had on July 29, flagged off the distribution of agricultural inputs and productive assets to over 3,000 farmers, fishermen and marketers drawn from various value chains across the state.She noted that though the fibre glass boats, outboard engines and other ancillary fishing […]