The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), on Friday, inaugurated an aquaculture training centre in Abia designed to promote the entrepreneurial skills of the youths.
In a speech at the event, the managing director/chief executive officer of the commission, Samuel Ogbuku, said that the centre was meant to help create skills for people as well as teach them how to start their own business in aquaculture.
He said that the commission would train most of the youths in agriculture and technology, which are areas that would make them self-reliant and wealth creators.
Mr Ogbuku said that the centre, situated at Umuntu Autonomous Community, Olokoro in Umuahia South Local Government Area, is one of the projects the commission thought necessary to finish and inaugurate.
He said that since he came on board, it was decided as a policy to ensure that all projects the commission initiated would not be abandoned.
According to him, we are going to reduce new projects and focus on the old ones because the more we initiate new projects, the old ones are going to suffer.
He said: “I want to assure members of this community that once we kick off, we will look at expanding the facility in this place because more persons are going to come here.
“We have other programmes that we initiated for partnership with private and public firms and this facility is readily available for such partnership.”
Earlier, the Abia representative designate in the NDDC board, Eruba Dimgba, said that the inauguration was a testament that the commission was fully committed to the development plan and commitment of President Bola Tinubu.
He said that the centre was envisioned to be a skill acquisition hub and an economic catalyst that would empower a good number of the growing population on how to breed, raise and harvest fish as well as make a profit from the enterprise.
Mr Dimgba implored the community to safeguard the project, saying that it would attract the building of other physical infrastructure around it.
The project consultant, Moses Oluigbo, who is the managing director, Animal Affairs Nig. Ltd., appealed for the development of some infrastructure and posting of NDDC trainees to the centre.
“It is our considered view that such regular posting of trainees would enhance the operational activities of the centre in line with the set-out objectives,” Oluigbo said.
The project supervisor, NDDC, Kingsley Azu, said that the facility comprised eight fish housing tanks, two hatcheries, two lecture blocks, a six-room staff quarters and a four-room office block, a power generating set and others.
Mr Azu said that the project, which was completed in August 2020, would serve as a capacity-building centre for the benefitting communities in Abia and beyond.
In a vote of thanks, the director in charge of fisheries in the commission, Winifred Madume, said that the centre would train no fewer than 50 youths from the community.
In a remark, the traditional ruler of Umuntu Autonomous Community, Eze PEO Ugwubunka, represented by Ifeanyi Umekwe, thanked NDDC for siting the project in the community.
Mr Ugwubunka, who expressed concern about the security challenges around the centre, appealed to the commission to engage the services of the community youths to secure the facility.