Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya showing the President of Fishermen Association in Lagos, Alhaji Adekunle Fasasi some of the boats, shortly before they were handed over to the benefitting youths
680 youths from 34 fishermen cooperative associations in Lagos State have been given fibre glass boats by the State Government.
The distribution of the boats is part of the Artisanal Fisheries component of the 2021 Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Activation Programme.
Before handing over the fibre glass boats to the beneficiaries during a ceremony at the Agricultural Development Authority Complex, Oko-Oba, Agege, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya stressed that the measure was part of Governor Bababjide Sanwo-Olu’s administration to boost youth employment and food security.
The Commissioner said a framework to inculcate a culture of saving among the young fishermen had been put in place in partnership with a commercial bank and an insurance company to ensure sustainability.
The gesture would enable the beneficiaries to become fully-fledged fishermen-businessmen and help Lagos to achieve the aim of the empowerment, she said.
“The idea is even if you don’t catch fish today, because you have also expanded your fleet, you should still be able to have some savings to act as a shock absorber for you to be able to fend for your family and continue your business on other days.
“It is envisaged that the deployment of today’s fishing assets will create over 2,000 jobs in both up and down streams of the Artisanal Fisheries Value Chain and produce 4,531 tonnes fish annually.
“It is our collective aspiration that through this programme and other projects in the agricultural space, the well-being of our farmers and fishermen will be enhanced and Lagos will eventually become food secure” the Commissioner stated.
The President of the Fishermen Association of Lagos State, Alhaji Adekunle Fasasi, appealed to the benefitting youths to make judicious use of the boats so that more youths would also be accorded the same gesture.
One of the beneficiaries, Jude Zebulon, who responded on behalf of others, thanked the Lagos State Government for the gesture and challenged other young fisher folks to take advantage of the opportunities been offered by the government.
In July this year, the Lagos State Government kick-started the empowerment of youths with the distribution of inputs and productive assets to over 3,000 farmers, fishermen and marketers drawn from various Agricultural Value Chains across the State.
Reporting by Omolara Omosanya, editing by Daniel Adejo