The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) says it has restocked the lower Usman Dam with nearly 50,000 assorted fingerlings.
Acting Secretary of the secretariat, Mr Ibe Chukwuemeka during the commissioning ceremony in Bwari Area Council, said the exercise was in line with the FCT Administration’s commitment to food security and poverty reduction at rural and urban areas.
He said that the fingerlings comprise of 11 different species of fish.
He said the lake restocking which was an annual event stemmed from the maiden edition that was launched in 1999 as another means of bridging the poverty gap in rural areas.
“Our restocking exercise is going to afford the fisheries sub-sector the opportunity to contribute to the aggregate food security and poverty alleviation programme at the topmost of our development agenda,” he said.
Chukwuemeka explained that the issue of fisheries currently dominated the agriculture development programme of the secretariat objectives.
“With this initiative, we will fill the gap between fish demand and supply that, the Federal Government has taken steps to place fisheries and aquaculture into the second National Fadama Development programme implemented in all the FCT Area Councils.”
Chukwuemeka, therefore, urged fishermen at the dam to observe the season till the next six months in order to allow the new fish mature and start breeding.
According to him, the fishermen would move their activities to other river body or dams in the territory pending when the new ones in the dam would be fully matured.
He also called on fishermen to make the best use of the gesture by FCT Administration.
In her remarks, the Director Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mrs Ifeoma Okeke explained to that the campaign was the 6th in the series since 1999.
Okeke said that the programme would continue to receive priority attention from the secretariat.
She explained that the government was carrying out the exercise to assist the fishermen and not for financial gain.
On his part, the Esu Bwari, His Royal Highness, Ibrahim Yero assured the FCT Administration of mobilising the residents especially the fishermen to adhere to the rules and regulations of the dam as well as its security. (NAN)