AfDB to fund Agric Processing Zones in 7 states with $540million

African Development Bank Allocates $540 Million to Agro-Industrial Zones in Nigeria's States.
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The African Development Bank has disbursed $540 million to seven states including Oyo, Cross River, Imo and the Federal Capital Territory to develop Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones.

Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Senior Special Adviser on Industrialisation to the AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina, disclosed this on Monday when a delegation from his organization and that of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) presented their separate reports on projects being executed in Nigeria to Vice President Kashim Shettima at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

In a statement titled ‘AfDB set to begin disbursement of $540m SAPZs fund,’ Shettima’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications Stanley Nkwocha revealed that the meeting had been held on Monday.

The announcement comes nearly eight months after AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina first told President Bola Tinubu of the bank's $520 million investment in Nigeria's special economic zones.

During a two-day summit on a New Global Financing Pact in Paris, Adesina had assured Tinubu that the bank would support the new administration’s economic policies in Nigeria. He promised to place people first when setting development targets for the country.

Oyelaran-Oyeyinka said on Monday that the SAPZs, which are meant to turn Nigeria’s rural landscape into economic zones of prosperity, will “support inclusive and sustainable agro-industrial development in Nigeria.”

“The phase one of the project is at the point of disbursement. Kaduna, Oyo and Cross River States are all in the process of receiving disbursements and we hope that the other states can speed up their documentation so that we can fast-track these states.

“We raised $540m in catalytic funding and expect every state to find a partner to bring equity and join up with them. It is a government-enabled project but private-sector driven,” he explained further.

He also clarified that the first phase of SAPZs is being implemented in seven states: Cross River, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Ogun, Oyo and the Federal Capital Territory.

On his part, Vice President Shettima called for immediate action, saying that it is time for the government and its development partners to take concrete steps toward achieving their goals.

The three states that will benefit from phase one of the development of processing zones are Oyo, Kaduna and Cross River. Others will get theirs as soon as they conclude documentation.

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