Score-Card: Delta Will Become Fish Basket Of Nigeria -Says Emu
Delta Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Dr. Kingsley Eze Emu (left) on the hot seat and Commissioner for Information, Barr. Chike C. Ogeah (right)
Delta Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Dr. Kingsley Eze Emu (left) on the hot seat and Commissioner for Information, Barr. Chike C. Ogeah (right)

Delta state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Dr. Kingsley Emu,has boasted that the oil and gas rich state would soon become the major fish basket of Nigeria, following the recent ban on fish importation.

He told a surprised media audience, on Tuesday, that Delta state has the capacity to produce enough fish along its coastal lines without incurring losses, adding that modalities to achieve the model have been concluded and that it is private investment driven.
“We will turn the entire 40 percent area  covered by water and the coastline to fish industry. We are fully prepared to challenge that market and profit based.”
See full text of his briefing:
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is charged with the responsibility of formulating policies on Commerce, Industry, Co-operatives and Small and Medium Enterprises and advising on activities that would lead to the rapid industrial growth of the state which can be achieved through the mobilization, encouragement and coordination of both the public and private sectors.
The overall aim is to provide employment opportunities, enhance the standard of living of Deltans as well as improve the economic prosperity of citizens, diversifying the economy from oil-dependency to one that is industry-driven and private sector focused while enhancing the general well-being of the populace. Concerted efforts by the Ministry in that regard have led to series of achievements over the years. Details of the activities, achievements, plans and challenges of the Ministry are subsequently unfolded on departmental basis.
This department is charged with the responsibility of transforming and modernizing SMEs in the State based on government’s recognition of the fact that they are the main vehicle for reducing poverty, creating jobs, building capacities and achieving sustainable economic development particularly at the grass-root level.
The main achievements of the Ministry in the area of SMEs are outlined below:
1.      Shell Livewire Partnership Programme With Delta State Government:
Under this scheme, the State Government entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to train and empower our youths and adults in various skills which will enable them to be useful to themselves and the society at large. In the year 2012/2013, two hundred (200) youths were trained under this programme, in various skills and with financial empowerment ranging from N170,000 – N200,000 depending on the type of project involved.
2.      Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP)
During the first quarter of this fiscal year, the training and empowerment of one hundred (100) unemployed youths, men and women was carried out by this Ministry in collaboration with Best Konsult Limited and Globalcom Nigeria. The essence of the programme which was to eliminate poverty and create jobs for our teeming population, was designed, packaged and delivered to the targeted audience who were satisfied with the starter packs and other benefits derived therein. The programme did not only empower the beneficiaries with starter packs but went further to impart technical knowledge on how to repair handsets and manage small outlets or make-shift shops where recharge cards and necessary accessories could be sold. The beneficiaries were advised to form cooperatives/clusters which will enable them to access funding from financial organizations.
3.      DTSG /Bank of Industry(BOI) Intervention Fund
This is aimed at evolving a synergy among the state government, BOI and the organized private sector in the development of an inclusive market for all commodities (goods and services) such as cassava, tomatoes, fish, plantain, yam, etc using the value chain approach to drive the economy with government providing the enabling environment.
It is also an initiative of the State Government to jumpstart economic activities through the industrialization of the communities via the private sector by providing funds:
·       To stimulate the State’s economy through the communities;
·       To engage active/restive youths and harness their collective potentials;
·       To mitigate rural – urban migration
·       To enhance the State’s GDP and
·       Promote peace and security.
To achieve this, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) comprising of all stake-holders would be created.  Membership of the Board of Directors would be drawn from shareholders and the Board shall appoint a Managing Director, an Accountant and a Chief Technical Officer.
The ownership will comprise of three (3) main players in the following proportion:
1.    Co-operatives               –        45%
2.    Core Investors              –        35%
3.    Government                 –        20%
Total                              –        100%
The Board would be comprised of nominees from the Stakeholders in the following ratio;
CO-OPERATIVES:         Two (2) members
CORE INVESTOR:         Two (2) members
GOVERNMENT:             One (1) member
All Board members are to be screened and appointed by the Delta State Government and Bank of Industry. Government nominee will not be the Chairman.
4.    Establishment of Ten (10) Industries in Delta State
The establishment of ten (10) industries in Delta State came as a result of preliminary investigations/research carried out throughout the State by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
          Based on the above background information and the result gathered from the research, the Ministry came up with the setting up of ten (10) industries in two specific areas that is germane to the socio-economic development of the State. The two areas are:
A.      Fish feed production;
B.      Cassava farming & Processing
In fish feed production, four industries were identified and located thus:
i.                   Fish Feed Mill, Asaba, incorporated as Asaba Fish Feeds Limited;
ii.                 Fish Feed Mill Owanta Aliosimi, incorporated as Ika Fish Feeds Limited;
iii.              Fish Feed Mill Ekpan, incorporated as Uvwie Fish Feeds Limited; and
iv.              Fish Feed Mill Ubeji, incorporated as Ubeji/Egbokodo Fish Feeds Limited;
In cassava farming and processing, six (6) industries were floated and located thus:
i.                   Agbarho-Otor Cassava Flour Mills Limited, Otor-Ogor, Ughelli North L.G.A.;
ii.                 Ethiope Cassava Starch Mills Limited, Mosogar , Ethiope West L.G.A.;
iii.              Ndokwa Cassava Flour Mills Limited, Obetim, Ndokwa West L.G.A.
iv.              Ika Cassava Flour Mills Limited, Agbor, Ika South L.G.A;
v.                 Abigborodo Cassava Starch Mills Limited, Abigborodo, Warri North L.G.A.; and
vi.              Koko Cassava Starch Mills Limited, Koko, Warri North L.G.A.
          It  will interest you to know that the establishment  of the four (4) fish feed mills is at advanced stage, while that of the cassava processing industries is still at the planning and design stage. EXCO approvals had been secured for the ten (10) industries.
For the establishment of the four (4) fish feed mills, the following have been carried out:
i.                   The sites for fish feed mills have been acquired and certificates of occupancy (C of O) obtained for each of them;
ii.                 the process of instituting the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is on-going;
iii.              the process of carrying out the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is in progress, Ministry of Environment has brought the BOQ for EIA and the memo has been forwarded to His Excellency for approval;
iv.              the Inter-ministerial Committee charged for the fast tracking of the process had visited the equipment manufacturers in the Republic of China for equipment certification; and
v.                 the 30% advance payment to the equipment manufacturers has been remitted.
vi.              Construction of the fish mills equipment is nearing completion. The first two paid for in August is ready and a pre inspection and test-run slated for December 18th 2013 in China.  Then, the last two will be ready in January, 2014.
vii.            Uzere cassava plant has been acquired and baring any other challenges, payment will be made by government to enable us take-off.  The transition plan has been put in place.
          The United Nation Development Programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has trained and empowered some Deltans in the following skill areas:
i.                   GSM engineering and Maintenance,
 and the Printing of Recharge Cards;           15 (Nos.) Persons
ii.                 Tie and dye (Adire);                             10     “        “
iii.              Soap Making;                                                 10     “        “
iv.              Bead and Hat making; and                           10     “        “
v.                 Cosmetology                                                  10     “        “
Total                                                 55 (No.) Persons
This partnership has also trained thirty five (35) farmers, Governement official and other Stakeholders in the Value chain in agriculture and agro-allied industrial activities.  The UNDP in collaboration with the Ministry, also trained thirty five (35) Deltans in Micro-Finance management and organization.
In summary, a total number of 125 persons have been trained under this programme which has helped to create job and empowerment for our citizens.
1.      Delta State Industrial Policy
          The Industries Department has been able to formulate a draft Industrial Policy for the State, the aim of which is to mobilize and motivate both indigenous and foreign investors to participate fully in our industrialization process in order to transform the state into a private-sector-driven economy. Other programmes and projects of the Industries Department are enumerated below;
2.      Unemployed Graduates Self-Employment Scheme
          This programme is geared at encouraging and empowering tertiary institution graduates in the State to become self-employed as well as to be able to employ other school-leavers. The strategy is to identify and train such graduates on how to identify and develop business opportunities around them, impact business management skills into them as well as providing them with either soft loan, grants or starter packs. Last year, this Ministry trained 56 unemployed graduates and empowered them with starter packs and working capital.
3.      Development of Industrial Estate
          The development of Industrial Estate is a core programme of both the Federal and State Governments. The State Government is currently developing four (4) Industrial Estates which are at Asaba, Amukpe, Warri and Ebedei. The Ebedei Industrial estate is targeted at host industries which would harness the rich gas deposit in the area. The Ministry has undertaken an Environmental Impact Assessment of the project preparatory to the commencement of physical / infrastructural development.
4.      Compilation and Publication of the Delta State Business Directory
     The first edition of the Delta State Business (industrial) directory was published in 2006. The new edition which is an all-inclusive business directory has been produced and is at the final stage of vetting
          We have done quite well within this past nine (9) months in a number of areas, namely:
1.      Development of Markets
          Statutorily, development of markets is the responsibility of Local Government Councils. However, the State intervention is hedged on the inability of the Councils to meet with volume of funds required to give these markets the needed face lift without which it would continue to repel instead of attracting patronage of businessmen and women outside the vicinity. Besides, there is the need to provide decent markets in rural areas to promote primary health care.  Through this interventionary measure, we have secured approval for development of eight (8) Community markets to be sited across the State as follows: Abigborodo in Warri North L.G.A; Ojobo in Burutu L.G.A; Otokutu in Ughelli South L.G.A; Oko-Anala in Oshimili South L.G.A; Kwale in Ndokwa West L.G.A; Umunede in Ika North East L.G.A; Agbor-Nta in Ika South L.G.A and Abraka in Ethiope East L.G.A. The contracts have been awarded and payment of mobilization is being processed.
          However, the Ughelli-Ogor modern market was built by the State Government after which a committee was set up outside this Ministry for the allocation of the Stalls.
2.      Trade Fair
          The Ministry is concerned with how best its activities can bring maximum benefits to the citizenry of this State. Thus, in Trade Fair matters, we have restrategised. Instead of being entirely dependent on Government for funding, we have secured approval to stage Fairs under a Public Private Partnership (PPP). The first Fair on this platform held at the Osubi Trade Fair Complex between 21st-27th October, 2013 with the theme: ‘’Trade Beyond Oil’’.  It was very successful.  We have crept into the calendar of Trade Fairs in Nigeria.
3.      Common Facility Centre
          This administration is determined to develop the non-oil sector of the economy which is mainly agriculture based. In the light of this, we are collaborating with the Nigeria Export Promotion Council for the establishment of a Common Facility Centre on Oil Palm Production to be cited at Owa-Aliosimi in Ika North East LGA.  Strategic collecting centers across the three Senatorial Districts have been identified, where Oil Palm products will be collected for storage and preservation before it is sent for processing. The centres are:
a)    Oghara/Jesse
b)    Abraka
c)     Ejeme in Aniocha South LGA
d)    Issele-Uku
Cooperative Department is one of the existing professional departments in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Delta State Civil Service. It is a service department charged with the primary responsibilities of overseeing the registration, organization and supervision of Cooperative Societies, Unions and Apexes within the State to give them legal status and ensure that they operate within the legal framework establishing them.
Cooperatives are people driven and its introduction in the State is aimed at improving the socio-economic well-being of the rural dwellers. The department through the performance of its statutory duties has led to the development and growth of Cooperatives in the State with the attendant improvement in the socio-economic well-being of the populace, particularly the Civil Servants in the recent times.  The following are some of the activities and achievements of the Cooperative Department:
1.      Formation and Registration of Cooperative Societies 
As earlier mentioned in my introduction in this report, one of the main activities of this department is the registration of Cooperative Societies, Unions and Apexes within the State.
The Department between 1st January and 30th November, 2013 registered 2,465 Cooperative Societies and Unions bringing the total number of registered Societies, Unions and Apexes to 29,878 since the creation of the State in August, 1991.
2.      Inspection/Auditing/Supervision
This is one of the primary duties of this Department. The Cooperative Department through its field staff is involved in the routine inspection of books and records of Cooperative Societies to ensure that their records are properly kept and are in accordance with standard accounting principles. It also carries out audit duties to detect and correct errors thereby reducing incidents of fraud and ensuring that books and records are properly kept.
3.      Capital Base
The Cooperative movement in the State has a strong capital base of over N34.9 Billion as at 30th, November 2013 that is almost internally generated.
4.      Membership of the Cooperative Movement
The Cooperative Movement in the State has a total membership of 804,464 broken down as follows:
Male           –        475,266
Female       –        329,198
5.      Seminars and Workshops
During the year, the Department successfully organized in-house cooperative seminars and workshops for members of various Cooperative Societies in the State amongst which are PTI Community Staff Multi-purpose Cooperative Society Limited, Effurun; Hospital Management Board Staff Multi-purpose Cooperative Society II Limited, Asaba, etc.
          The department is one of the mandatory departments of the Ministry which enables the Ministry to carry out her functions successfully. The department is charged with the Human Resources Management of the Ministry and thus uniquely related to all the departments.
1.      Staff Strength
          The Ministry has total staff strength of 325 made up of 187 males and 138 females. Below is the salary grade level bracket:
                   (i)      Senior Management    –        23     (GL. 13 – 17)
                   (ii)     Middle Management   –     267      (GL. 07 – 12)
                   (iii)    Junior Management    –        35     (GL. 01 – 06)
2.      Training
          As you are well aware, capacity building is one of the three (3) point agenda of the Delta State Government. In actualization of this manpower development agenda, 48 nos. of staff benefited from trainings organized for the enhancement of their productivity in various training centres across the Country. The trainings were held in the following centres:
          (i)      Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, Lagos (ASCON);
          (ii)     Centre for Management Development, Lagos (CMD) and
          (iii)    Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute, IIorin                        (ARTMTI).
Ladies and gentlemen, you would no doubt agree with me that this Ministry has done marvelously well in all ramifications, in the development of Delta State in particular and Nigeria in general. It is envisaged that in the coming year, activities will be focused on programmes that would ensure rapid Industrialization through promotion of genuine commercial activities vis-à-vis the diversification of the economy with the ultimate aim of improving the welfare of Citizenry in the State.
Thanks and God bless you.
News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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