Nigeria, Others To benefit From AfDB’s $520million SAPZ

African Development Bank (AfDB) has said the bank and its development partners are working to mobilizing about $520million (nearly N215billion) to co-finance the first phase of Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones in Nigeria. This development was disclosed by Lamin Barrow, the Director-General of Nigeria Country Department of the AfDB.

Barrow, who spoke at a high-level briefing session held on Monday, stated that the zones would be rolled out in 18 African countries, including Nigeria. The statement was titled ‘Federal and state governors endorse Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) Programme: African Development Bank and partners to mobilise $520m for Phase 1’.

According to him, “The bank and its development partners are mobilising $520m to co-finance the first phase of the programme in Nigeria, be implemented in phases across six geopolitical zones.”

He said that the representatives of the AfDB, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Islamic Development Bank have provided progress updates on the scheme, following their consultations with key stakeholders within the public and private sectors.

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the Federal Government is committed to the initiative and providing enabling policies that could attract private sector investment in the zones.

She said, “The Federal Government is committed to successfully implementing the programme to increase agricultural production, reduce poverty, and scale up job creation across the country.”

She said all the 36 states in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory will be eligible to participate in the SAPZ programme. She said 20 states and the FCT had already indicated interest in participating the first phase of the scheme. The states include Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Imo, Cross River, Ogun, Oyo, Bauchi, Lagos, Niger, Jigawa, Ekiti, Lagos, Taraba, Benue, Sokoto, Ondo, Nasarawa, Gombe and Kogi.

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