The Lagos State Government has empowered 680 youth members of different Fishermen Cooperative Societies with 34 outboard engine powered Fibre Glass Boats and other ancillary fishing equipment.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, who made the presentation to beneficiaries at the Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority (LSADA) Complex, Oko-Oba, Agege, said that the empowerment was done under the Y2021 Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Activation Programme inaugurated by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in July 2021.
She said that the government is committed to supporting the fishery value chain, envisaging that deployment of the fishing assets would create over 2,000 jobs in both the up and down streams of the artisanal fisheries value chain and produce 4,531 metric tonnes of fish annually.
Ms. Olusanya said: “The Governor had on July 29, 2021, flagged off the distribution of agricultural inputs and productive assets to over 3,000 farmers, fishermen and marketers drawn from various agricultural value chains across the State.”
According to her, boats were donated to cooperative groups comprising at least 20 members each, just as the Ministry partnered with Ecobank and Old Mutual Assurance to provide banking services, track cash flow in the business and aid fleet expansion for the fishermen.
Noting that a series of engagements were held with the leadership of the Lagos State Fishermen Association to validate the list of beneficiaries and secure their buy-in on the programme, the Commissioner said the objective was to engender a culture that will sustain the scheme.
The Head, Agric Desk, Ecobank Plc, Mrs. Moji Oguntoyinbo, expressed delight at the partnership with the State government in the fishery value-chain because of the opportunities that about in Lagos, being a coastal city.
“We have seen Lagos State as a coastal region with a lot of opportunities in fisheries and we are delighted that the State government has picked us as a focus in food sustainability to start the development in this sector”, she noted.