Opinion: Deceit or Good Governance in Progress? – By Manshak Lawson Yakwal

Investigative Reporting  can be distinguished from routine journalism, in that it must be in the public interest and relies on extensive research and the follow-up of information. Investigative Reporting often involves exposing corruption, as well as acts that violate norms and morals. Allegations of corruption or government act of deciet become scandals when they are exposed to the public, most often by the social media.
Individuals have an important role to play in strengthening democratic governance, promoting awareness and keeping a check on the misuse of government power. It is on this premise that we have taken it upon ourselves to move round the four corners of Plateau State, talking to the poorest of the poor, trekking the roads that ain’t motorable to see and follow up on the project the government claim to be undertaking.
The aim is to push government to perform as well as to expose act of Government DECIET if any and give CREDIT where it is deserved.
A small team made up of Plateau People under the guise of #FollowTheProject and who care about good governance have decided to go round the state, see and reports with pictures and videos the project government is undertaking as well as point to opposition parties where their search light should beam.

On our first series of #FollowTheProject, we undertook a journey to Panyam Fish farm to see what the government and it’s private partners have been upto.

Panyam fish farm was the biggest fish farm in West Africa and one of the biggest in Africa. Such masterpiece and pride of the state is nothing but a shadow of itself as seen. The farm is said to have about 52 ponds, the smalest pond is bigger than a plot of land and the biggest pond should be as big as the size of 6 fifa standard football pitch put together but is lying down in waste.
When our followup team asked the villagers, it was said that some ponds don’t retain water throughout the year. It can only get enough water during raining season. The white people managing the ponds over 3 decades ago created a model and channeled water from ponds that retain water to the big dry ponds during dry season.
 The farm gets its water source from a spring which is said to be as a result of Volcanic eruption which Swan has same water source thus making the water available all year round.
Further enquiries revealed that the fishes survive on their own as theres no provision of ruetine feeding by the governmebt.
Investigations showed little government presence with little renovations of structures as most structures are still moribund and delapedated.
Need we say there’s no good access road to the farm?
The big ponds have turned into a grazing spot for cattles because the ponds are dry.
 The harshery was seen to have new pipes which we applaud the PPP initiative  of government.
A farm which in optimum production should be able to meet the demand of the whole country in animal protein with expected income to surpass 2billion naira monthly and thus enough to pay the salaries of the state civil service and carry other projects, the dream to achieve that seems blury.
Asking around people in the host community if it has employed them, their pity expression is unfortunate.
With the efforts to revive the place, we in #FollowTheProject will rate the government 3 on a scale of 1-10 but though the pictures to be shared will allow people judge if the government has achieved. The people will speak if this is #Deciet or #GoodGovernance in progress.
We at #FollowTheProject really see Panyam Fish Farm is a goldmine and the government effort though appreciate, is grossly not enough. We request that the Rescue Admisnistration levelup with no further delay.
If truly Agriculture is what Plateau State wants to use for self Economic Sufficiency, then the optimum production and expansion of the farm should be a top priority and a legacy project.

Find attached, pictures of Panyam Fish Farm as at June 2020.

Everyone is been enjoined to reach out to us any executed or abandoned project so we can follow up.

Manshak Lawson


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