For 33 year-old Mr Ekeh Victor Obioma, the dream of working in an exquisite company with fat salary was attainable as soon as one graduated from the university and completed his National Youth Service Corps programme.
Many years after graduation and endlessly searching for a befitting white collar job, he may have come to the reality of the times and poised to confront the frustrating and devastating state of joblessness in the country, especially amongst young graduates in the country.
In the serene, quiet community of Umunakara village of Imerienwe in Ngor/Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State is the Ekeh compound. Here it is where Obioma has taken the bulls by the horn and set up a local fish farm , one that if the needed support and expertise comes his way, he may end up being a success story on why Nigerian graduates cannot continue to depend on white collar jobs but rather cue into government’s agricultural development initiatives as channeled by the Federal Government in the bid to boost agricultural productivity across the country and the 637 autonomous communities in Imo State.
Christened “Obioma fish farm”, the farm can best be described as modernity captured in a ‘most local and modest manner’ as while using the local facilities available to him, the young Obioma has in a most enterprising manner constructed a hatchery, smoking unit, ponds, and even has thought himself how to artificially inseminate and reproduce fish, a process which brings forth almost 500 fish at an instance when hatched.
Conducting LEADERSHIP round his modest fish farm, Obioma explained that he was forced to set up the farm in 2013 after endless search for job, saying though his farm is in the village and thus mitigating his commercial prospects considering the low income of villagers, he however has seen the prospects of the farm and thus poised to take the farm to the next level.
Explaining that aside the nutritional value and importance of fish in human diet, which it owes to its very rich Vitamins A and E which in turn enhances clearer visuals, fish remains the easiest and affordable known protein to man which now has carved a niche for itself in world trade as a viable stock
According to him, with the necessary assistance and support for the expansion of his farm, the farm could help boost local fish supply and in the long run help reduce the effects of biting food crisis , assuring that by the year 2020 if the potentials of the farm were harnessed, the farm would have the capacity to provide jobs for over 1000 citizens of the country.
“I want to run an integrated fish, piggery, snail farm, and other livestock to meet the growing demand for the products of the farm. Between 2013 and 2014, we recorded tremendous success in management and productivity of the farm as you can see.
‘With just few fish I started with, you can see that as of today I have over 5000 at different stages and still growing. I have also improvised and produced even though in a most local manner, constructed water channels, ponds, tankers, roasting furnace and others. So you can imagine what we can achieve with support from government, NGOs and even banks. I really want to get really big commercial wise, create employment for others and also help to educate others, especially Nigerian youths who may just be lying idle and frustrated. That is my idea. I want to become a change agent and show that some things are possible in Nigeria, especially for the Nigerian youth’, Obioma revealed.
The youthful Obioma who, however regretted that paucity of funds, lack of regular water and electricity supply and modern scientific agricultural equipment had become an obstacle to the farm in its mission to meet the fish requirement of the public, appealed to well-meaning public spirited individuals for assistance.
He therefore appealed to the state and federal governments, corporate bodies, institutions, organisations and well- meaning individuals, NGOs and indeed the government of Owelle Rochas Okorocha and President Muhammadu Buhari to come to his aid and help him in actualising his dream of becoming a major fish entrepreneur. He says he can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org and his contact number 08038810109.
Speaking, a prominent indigene of the area and former commissioner for information and strategy, Dr. Theodore Ekechi commended Obioma for his entrepreneurship and for applying his knowledge to strengthen government’s commitment to agricultural revolution in the state. He called on other youths of the state to follow suit and ensure that their knowledge is not wasted while waiting for white collar jobs.
Source: Youths Digest