Niger State Government through its Ministry of Livestock and Fishery has expended N7.9million on two boats to facilitate fish farming activities in the state.
Speaking to journalists at an interview in Minna, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Jonathan Wasa said the ministry purchased the boats to improve farming activities and create employment opportunities for the youths.
“The Niger state government recently acquired two boats at the cost of N7.9 million to monitor aquatic live and artisanal fishing on our rivers.
“We will use the boats to ensure that our artisanal fishermen adhere to best practices in fishing,’’ he said.
He disclosed that all the boats used by the fishery department were bad, which necessitated the purchase of the new boats.
Wasa added that one of the boats would be used at the fishing area in Shiroro Dam, while the other being coupled would be put to use at Kainji Dam, another fishing community in the state.
He stated that the state government had concluded arrangements to distribute recommended fishing inputs, such as; fishing nets and hooks, among others to over 20,000 artisanal fishermen across the state.
Speaking on rehabilitation, the secretary said the government had rehabilitated some ponds at the Tagwai fish hatchery in Bosso Local Government Area of the state: “The department of fishery had established hatchery at the dam with the intention of providing fingerlings and table sized fish this year.
“We also want to use the Tagwai fish hatchery as a learning centre for youths and other people that may want to go into fish farming,’’ he added.
Wasa said the state government had also concluded arrangements to partner a Norwegian company on local fish farming in the state – as an approach in advancing the sector.
“As I speak with you, the company has concluded its visibility studies and will soon start business,’’ he said.
He disclosed that the company would be actively involved in the production of tilapia fish, while partnering with local fish farmers to develop the sector, which will help provide employment opportunities for 500 direct labour and 5,000 indirect labour.