Even though the Bayelsa State government is yet to hand over the newly commissioned aquaculture village to the expected private investors that will run the multi-million infrastructure, scores of fish lovers are trooping into the state for some purchases.
The agriculture facility was commissioned by a former Nigerian president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on February 17. Same day, many people trooped into the farm to buy the neatly packaged, smoked fish, which TNN learnt are affordable and distinct.
Some operators at the expansive farm said on Friday that there have been an influx of visitors to the farm since the day it was commissioned.
While some go there to buy the packaged fish, others simply visit the aquaculture village to eat from the restaurant where fish is served in different forms.
The faciltiy is capable of producing 5,000 tons of fish annually. The expectation is that up to 3,000 tons of fish would be exported annually, while about 1,000 direct and indirect jobs are to be created for youths of the state.
Already, 200 of the youths have already been trained by the government in Songhai and they would be part of the drivers of the project. Some of the youths would be engaged to handle the mechanised fish dryers which have a drying capacity of 500 fish daily.
The state commissioner for agriculture, Doodei Week however told TNN in an interview that having completed the first phase of the project-completion and commissioning- the next phase was to ensure that it was made to run and become productive, to satisfy the fish needs of the country and the international community.
One of the youths who is working in the farm, who gave his name as Timi, jokingly told TNN that “in Ekiti state, they are doing stomach infrastructure that you cannot feel. But here, this is the real stomach infrastructure. You see this farm so? This farm is feeding hundreds of people and giving us a steady source of livelihood, thanks to Governor Seriake Dickson who decided to make this happen.”