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Lagos to launch LACE to enhance fish production, create thousands of jobs

Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Governor of Lagos State (r) During the Lagos Seafood Festival on Victoria Island

*The Lagos Aquaculture Centre of Excellence is expected to generate about 5,000 smallholder fish farms which should create 1,000 indirect jobs during the construction phase and 500 direct job opportunities for people ─Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

In an effort at improving fish production in the ‘state of aquatic splendour’, the Lagos State Government (LASG), in collaboration with a private sector investor, has concluded plans to establish the Lagos Aquaculture Centre of Excellence (LACE) in 2021.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu stated this at the weekend during Year 2020 edition of the Lagos Seafood Festival held at the Muri Okunola Park, on Victoria Island, Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu said the Centre is expected to generate at least 5,000 small-holder fish farms which would in turn create about 1,000 indirect jobs during the construction phase, Vanguard report said.

He also noted that the LACE would generate 500 additional direct jobs opportunities for people that would be engaged at different phases of the fish farm project.

The governor noted other phases of the project include the establishment of a 50 million fish hatchery facility, projected 2,000 tonnes per annum table-sized fish production schedule, 24,000 tonnes per annum fish feed mill as well as a 20,000 tonne-per annum fish and seafood processing centre.

Represented by Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Sanwo-Olu observed the present supply of fish and other seafood products in the state was insufficient to meet the fish and seafood demands of residents; hence, the need to have a private sector-driven aquaculture centre in the state.

He stated: “We estimated the present supply of fish and other seafood at 174,553 tonnes per annum to be insufficient for Lagosians; therefore, we have collaborated with a private sector investor on the establishment of the Lagos Aquaculture Centre of Excellence to boost fish production.

“This project includes: the establishment of a 50 million fish hatchery facility, projected 2,000 tonnes per annum table-sized fish production schedule, 24,000 tonnes per annum fish feed mill and a 20,000 tonnes per annum fish and seafood processing centre.

The governor further noted “the Aquaculture Centre of Excellence is expected to generate about 5,000 smallholder fish farms which should create 1,000 indirect jobs during the construction phase and 500 direct job opportunities for people that would be engaged at different phases of the project.”

The Lagos State with a population of more than 22 million and a consumption demand for fish and other seafood of 374,000 tonnes annually and supply hovering around 155, 262 tons per annum, hence, “it is important that Lagosians key into and benefit from the value chain attached to the aquatic or fisheries business sector in order to fill the supply deficit.”

He pledged that “next year by the grace of God, we will engage on the deep sea trawling that allows us to go inner and get the bigger fishes.

“That along with our other interventions would allow us to employ close to 10,000 youths in the five divisions of the state.”

An occasion such as the Lagos Seafood Festival is an opportunity for Lagosians to tap into the agriculture value chain in the fish and seafood sector particularly as the nation seeks to diversify its economy for the benefit of the people, Sanwo-Olu said.

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