Akwa Ibom debunks insinuations it distributed substandard fishing boats
Akwa Ibom State government has described as untrue and unfounded insinuations that boats recently received by the state government for fishing were substandard.
The boats, according to the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Offiong Offor, in an interview with newsmen in Uyo, yesterday, were part of items supplied by National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for the 2020 flood disaster and have since been distributed to affected farmers.
She further explained that the state government provided logistics for the lifting of the boats and other components for farmers, and wondered why people should describe them as unfit while benefitting fish farmers did not complain about them.
The commissioner explained that NEMA also supplied same quality of boats to other states as part of the intervention without complaints from those states.
She said 200 fishmen benefitted from the donation even as NEMA also supplied other components like collapsible ponds, floats, fingerlings and feeds to ameliorate the impact of the flooding.
She said: “It is not true that the boats are substandard. They are not substandard. If they are good in Rivers and Bayelsa, they will also be good in Akwa Ibom.
“What they gave to Rivers and Bayelsa, which have more riverine areas was the same thing they gave to Akwa Ibom and if farmers in those other states are using them, then they shouldn’t have shortchanged us.
“Beneficiaries did not complain about the boats and other components. The state government even provided logistics for them to transport the components back to their different locations.”
She called for understanding and constructive criticism from indigenes and residents of the state on government programmes and policies.