The Rivers State Government will establish a fish farm capable of producing 1000 tons of fish, in Buguma, Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
This was made known to newsmen on Tuesday, October 4, 2011, during a briefing by three commissioners of the state.
They are, the Commissioner of Information, Ibim Semenitari, Commissioner of Tourism and Culture, Dr. Nabbs Imegwu and Commissioner of Works, Victor Giadom.
The Commissioner of Information said the executive has approved the establishment of the fish farm at a cost of N1.5 billion to meet sufficiency in fish production.
She said it would boost employment, just as she also stated that a cassava initiative in partnership with the Dutch would generate 20, 000 jobs.
Mrs. Semenitari said investment in the area of Agriculture would be key policy to generate employment and that the Songhai Initiative occupied 214 Hectares of land.
The commissioner in answer to a question on security said it was not true that there was so much insecurity inRiversState. She said kidnapping and other crimes were worse in a state likeLagosand that in case of Rivers state, most of the kidnap victims were rescued within short periods, and urged the media to encourage development through appropriate dissemination of information.
She admonished the media for not harping on the prompt response of the state to check flooding, as predicted, by carrying out appropriate measures in time.
The Commissioner saidRiversStatehas concretized the US/Nigeria Bi-lateral agreement, trained nine engineers inPennsylvaniain the areas of road construction, maintenance, project monitoring and design, while another set of engineers would soon be trained.
She also disclosed that aRiversStateinvestors forum, a private sector-driven event, would be held in November, and that government would give moral support and provide enabling environment.
She said the state government is ready to pay the N18,000 minimum wage.
On his part, the Commissioner of Works, Sir Victor Giadom said there are presently 230 projects going on and in different stages of completion while some have been completed.
He said all contractors on road construction have been told to hold on until the rains are over to avoid wrong foundation especially during he earth work, giving example of G. U. Ake road which failed because of poor foundation done during the rains, adding that the height of the road has been improved upon and would be completed on or before January 2012.
Giadom who was voted the best performing Local Government Area Chairman by the media in 2010, said the Agip flyover which is 800 metres long would soon be entirely open to commuters,Ada George Roadwould be worked upon after the rains, while contract has been awarded for Okporo road, waiting for the end of the rains.
“The state will be a construction centre during the dry season”, he stated, adding that Port Harcourt Town Market would be completed on or before December 31, 2011.
Other projects to be completed on or before that date include, Elekahia road street lights, G. U. Ake road, (from Eliozu to Ikwerre road), expansion of Olu-Obasanjo road to six lanes, Ken Saro Wiwa road (Stadium road) and extension of road terminal at UST round about.
Giving account of the activities of his own Ministry, Dr. Nabbs Imegwu of Tourism and Culture, said CarniRiv which began in 1988 when Alabo Graham Douglas was the Commissioner in charge of the ministry, would be carried out in grand style this year.
The event proper would take place from December 13-17, 2011.
He said CarniRiv now known as Port Harcourt Carnival had been improved upon tremendously by the addition ofTrinidad and Tobagoflair and that this year, a consultant has been engaged to get the right packaging and right delivery to ensure world standard, with Resources and Materials Management team put in place and all committees now in action.
A formal unveiling of the face of Carni-Riv will be held and update soon given, while pre-carnival activities would be held as a build up to the real carnival.
“We relate even outside the state. A mini Durbar would be displayed and the Eyo Masquerade may also be involved. It would be a huge celebration, we celebrate the fact that within 4-5 years, much has been achieved in policy strides and administration,” the commissioner stated.
Dr. Imegwu said CarniRiv would spin round micro-economy and that the focus was to use culture to drive tourism and so no effort would be speared to have a global success, adding that tourism relates to movement of people from one point to another.
The Commissioner said Port Harcourt Carnival offers another platform to generate employment as five free style bands that participated in the last carnival would be sustained and have been told to employ and retain 1000 members each that would be given allowances.
A bill on Rivers CarniRiv Agency Bill, he said, has entered its second reading in the State Assembly and that by 2012, the Agency would be in charge of CarniRiv. ####