By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”In a bid to tackle youth unemployment, Bayelsa State government has set up a Fishing Academy.
Vanguard gathered that the move is part of the government’s efforts to make the state a major supplier of table fish in the country.
Already, five fishing trawlers have been acquired while plans are on to send a number of youths between the ages of 25 and 35 with requisite qualifications on foreign training as captains, chief engineers, coxswain, second engineers, boatswain and fishermen.
Two of the vessels are already in the state and were inaugurated two months ago at the Ogbia waterways, while the state is set to become a major key player in the supply and distribution of table fish.
Though the state has the longest coastline in the delta with the locals engaging in small scale fishing, itÂ is presently dominated by foreign fishing vessels exploiting its vast water resources.
The trainees of the Academy are expected to service the state owned Seafoods Limited, solely floated to maximize the state water resources as well as help boost the state’s poor internally generated revenue profile.
Director General of the Due Process and e-Governance Bureau, Von Kemedi Dimeari, said over 100 youths are expected to benefit from the training programme.
According to him, the planned training of the youths in modern fishing expedition was in line with the government empowerment programme for the youths of the state.
The Due Process and e-Governance Bureau boss added that the state can no longer depend solely on federal allocation for its revenue, giving enormous developmental challenges facing the state.
He expressed optimism that with the state government diversification into fishing, where Bayelsa has comparative advantage, its revenue base will be further increased as well as help tackle the problem of youth unemployment in the state.