By Stanley Onyekwere
The FCT Administration through its Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) has upped preparations for the third edition of the Abuja Fishing Festival scheduled to hold this year, barely eight years after it last held.
This follows the meeting of the FCT Inter-departmental Planning
Committee for the Festival which took place at the ARDS’s head office.
The Acting Secretary of the ARDS, Mr Ibe Prospect Chukwuemeka, while addressing members of the committee underscored the importance of organising a festival befitting of the global status of the Federal Capital Territory and melting pot of the Nigerian culture.
Ibe, who is Chairman of the Committee commended the Minister of State for the FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu for approving the festival, which according to him will not only help promote the tourism potentials of the FCT, but also help attract viable investment in the aquaculture industry and its value chain.
“You are all aware that the last time the fishing festival took place was in 2012 and if you go round the FCT from Abaji to Bwari you will discover that the city is endowed with abundant rich water bodies that have not been effectively harnessed.
“We must therefore commend the Honourable Minister for this bold decision of reviving the festival which undoubtedly will help in promoting our rich potentials both in the Tourism and aquaculture sector,” he stated.
Ibe therefore charged members of the committee to put in their best in the discharge of their duties at the various sub-committee levels towards ensuring the success of the festival.
Similarly, Director of Fisheries in the FCT Administration, Mrs. Ifeoma Okeke, said the committee will embark on advocacy visits to relevant stakeholders to explore possible partnership with them.
she added that the Committee will be embarking on a sensitisation tour of all the Area Councils in order to mobilise their participation and support for the festival.
She commended the choice of Yaba, in Abaji Area Council as the venue for the event saying that ate Fisheries Department has already conducted an assessment of the Yaba River which she said will experience high water level suitable for the fishing activities.
In his address, the Chairman, Abaji Area council, Alhaji Abdulrahman Ajiya who was represented by the Council Secretary, Alhaji Suleiman Kamal expressed confidence that with the early start of preparatory activities, the committee will be able to put up a good showing that Nigerians can be proud of.