Following persistent drop in federal allocation to states in Nigeria, the Plateau State government said it has resorted to sourcing its revenue internally to develop the state.
As a result, the government on Saturday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a private firm, Solbec Ltd, with the aim of resuscitating the moribund state-owned Panyam fish farm.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Lynda Barau, said the new arrangement will be based on Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) between the state government and the firm.
According to Mrs. Barau, Panyam fish farm, established before Nigeria’s independence in 1960, is reputed to be Nigeria’s largest fish farm covering a land mass of 309 hectares, with the capacity to produce about 4.9 tonnes of fish and over 10 million fingerlings annually.
She said the farm will be treated with “the topmost priority it deserves as a potentially great revenue earner for the state, especially in the face of dwindling oil revenue from the Federation Account.”
According to the commissioner, government’s effort is in line with its resolve to give the agricultural sector a boost, to increase in internally revenue generation.
She said of the 1,000 abandoned mining ponds in the state, 24 have been certified fit for fish production. If all these potentials are fully harnessed, the state could produce 4.9 tonnes of fish per annum, she said.
Plateau state has about 20 dams and reservoirs with an estimated water surface area of 673 hectares.
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