Commentary: Anambra Fisheries And Aquaculture Business Development Agency

Commentary: Anambra Fisheries And Aquaculture Business Development Agency

On assumption of Office in 2014, Governor Willie Obiano unfolded a master strategy to transform aquaculture and fish production activities into a leading player on national-global food markets in line with revolutionizing the agriculture economy. In his quest to eliminate poverty, create more employment opportunities and food security, Governor Obiano pioneered the creation of the Anambra Fisheries and Aquaculture Business Development Agency, FABDA. No other state in Nigeria has such commodity focused Agency.

To ensure continuity, Governor Obiano sent an Executive Bill to the house of Assembly, which was passed and the Governor accented accordingly. Headed by Honourable Emeka M. Iloghalu, the pioneer MD/CEO of FABDA, the agency developed a master strategy to reorganize, create and reposition the fisheries and aquaculture economy in Anambra State.

The agency created systems and projects to efficiently increase fish production, create jobs and provide more business opportunities to inspire wealth creation. FABDA also developed a policy framework to guide operations in the distinct segments of the fisheries and aquaculture value chain.

ABDA moved and encouraged existing projects in the sector and revived some abandoned ones. It launched the pilot Fish Production Villages as new entrepreneurship settlements across the State and have encouraged different methods of fish culture in Anambra State including, Tarpaulin, Plastic, Fibre and Concrete tanks respectively as well as earthen ponds etc.

FABDA further consolidated the production of catfish and has already systematically introduced Tilapia and other commercially viable fish species in the fish production business in the State. As a result, Ndi Anambra have taken up fish production to their various communities and deployed different methods, according to available terrains ranging from Mobile fish ponds (using plastic, tarpaulin and fiber tanks respectively), Concrete fish ponds to earthen ponds.

This situation was stimulated by the enabling environment created by the Obiano administration, Aku-luo-uno and the pro-agric-business policies of the State government. Aside government investments, private organizations like Grand Cereals Ltd Jos, a subsidiary of UAC PLC, has installed a 30,000 metric tons per annum fish feeds plant at Onitsha, an investment worth N1.2Billion as at 2019.

With Governor Willie Obiano’s visionary initiation of institutionalizing the development of the fisheries and aquaculture economy, all actors, stakeholders and the organized private sector have been synchronized with the government, while FABDA is creating and promoting enabling environment for fish business and aquaculture to thrive.

The policy framework for simultaneous development of the fisheries and aquaculture economy manifested in the establishment of critical infrastructure by the Obiano administration, hence, the construction of fish production villages across the three senatorial zones in the State.

The agency therefore calls on Ndi Anambra and the fisheries and aquaculture business community, together with prospective investors to begin the development of their businesses around the ongoing fish production village projects in the three senatorial zones of the State.

The fish production village projects at Aguleri and Adazi-Nnukwu for Anambra North and Central senatorial zones respectively are already advanced in construction, while that of Anambra South, to be sited at Okija, is about to commence.

To strengthen FABDA, the governor constituted a high powered governance committee to pilot the affairs of FABDA. It is chaired by Ogbuefvi Ike Chioba. All Stakeholders in the fisheries and aquaculture sector are enjoined to regularly visit the FABDA office at the Government house, Annex, by Real Estate, Awka along the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, opposite Orasonic Petrol Station.

With all these measures in place, there is no doubt that Anambra will continue to export fish and fish products.

WRITTEN BY HON. TIMOTHY IFEDIORAMMA