Four development partners have committed a total sum of $520 million for the development of the first phase of Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) in some selected states across Nigeria.
Specifically, the Senior Special Advisor to the President of the Africa Development Bank on industrialisation, Prof. Banji Oyeyinka, revealed that the AfDB has committed the sum of $160 million; Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) $50 million; Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) $150 million, while the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) committed $160 million, bringing the total to $520 million for the development of the project in Nigeria.
He, therefore, gave the assurance of the commitment and readiness of the bank and other partners to officially flag off the project in Nigeria before the end of 2021.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, also speaking during the FMFBNP/AfDB SAPZ high-level virtual discussions, disclosed that the Federal Capital Territory tops the list of beneficiaries.
Other states selected to benefit from the first phase of the SAPZ establishment project in Nigeria include; Kaduna, Kwara, Kano, Imo, Cross River, Ogun and Oyo, based on an assessment of their state of readiness. Other States are to be selected to participate in subsequent phases.
In her words; “This project aligns with Mr. President’s diversification agenda, which has the practicality of improving economic growth. The effectiveness of the SAPZ has become essential considering the impact of the COVID-19 across the world, including its impact in Nigeria.”
Speaking on the preparedness of the FCT Administration, FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, said the Administration was fully committed to the success of this project, adding that the project would facilitate the development of satellite towns and rural communities, create jobs and employment, enhance security of lives and property, generate wealth, and improve governance outcomes.