By Stanley Onyekwere
The Mandate Secretary of the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat(ARDS), Mallam Abubakar Ibrahim has restated resolve to reinvigorate the FCT Aquaculture and Allied Trades Centre for women and youth, targeted at empowering more vulnerable groups in the FCT.
Ibrahim gave this assurance during a visit to the Center at Kuka Village in Kwali Area Council, to assess activities at the Centre.
According to him, the Centre which was Commissioned by the Honourable Minister of State, FCT Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu in 2020 was part of her grassroot developmental programmes, aimed at providing opportunities for vulnerable groups particularly women and youths, towards poverty alleviation as well as boosting fish production in the FCT.
He assured that ARDS will do everything possible to ensure that with the provisions that have been made in the budget, facilities at the centre will be improved and expanded to accommodate more groups.
He adds: “The vision the Minister of State, FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu has is to have a centre that will provide entrepreneurial skills on a regular basis to the less privileged and the choice of Aquaculture is very strategic being one that is thriving in terms of demand.
“We will ensure that this worthy vision is realised so we are going to put in the required funding to improve on the programmes at the centre.”
Furthermore, ARDS Secretary directed the Department of Fisheries to strengthen its monitoring mechanism to follow-up on the progress of the trainees to ensure that they are supported and properly guided on managing their businesses.
In a related development, the ARDS boss who was also at the Kwali slaughter slabs commended the Council Chairman for the ongoing rehabilitation works taking place at the slaughter slab, which should make provision for easy removal of waste.
He eiterated the readiness of the Secretariat to work with relevant authorities towards improving meat handling and sanitary conditions in the various slaughter slabs in the six Area Councils.
In her remarks, the Director of Fisheries in the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat Mrs Ifeoma Okeke commended the Secretary for displaying strong commitment towards repositioning the Agric Sector since his appointment. This she noted has boosted the morale of staff who more encouraged to put in their best.