By Stanley Onyekwere
The FCT Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) has denied purported reports that it has abandoned the Bwari Fish Farm Estate, insisting that fish production is currently going on in the estate.
The ARDS while reacting to a report in some section of the media 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.
“As a matter of fact Bwari is ongoing, the only problem is that some of the alottees 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”, ARDS Director of Administration and Finance, Mr. Ibe Chukwuemeka, said, during an interview with newsmen at the weekend.
Ibe, who is overseeing the activities of ARDS 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.”
Similarly, 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 stressed.