AfDB, others earmark $520million for development of agro-industrial processing zones in eight states

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By: Oluwatosin Iyun

THE Africa Development Bank (AFDB)  and other partners have unfolded plans to expend a sum of $520million to develop special Agro-industrial Processing Zones in some selected states across Nigeria.

The benefitting states include Federal Capital Territory, Kaduna, Kwara, Kano, Imo, Cross River, Ogun and Oyo based on an assessment of their state of readiness.

The Bank said it committed $160m; the Africa Growing Together Fund $50m; the Islamic Development Bank, $150m, while the International Fund for Agricultural Development committed $160m for the development of the project in Nigeria.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Special Adviser on Media to FCT Minister of State, Austine Elemue after the FMFBNP/AfDB SAPZ high-Level virtual discussions held on Monday.

The statement quoted the Senior Special Adviser to the AfDB President on Industrialisation, Prof Banji Oyeyinka, as stating that the project would be inaugurated in the selected states before the end of the year.

It reads, “The Senior Special Advisor to the President of the Africa Development Bank on Industrialization, Prof. Banji Oyeyinka, revealed that the AfDB has committed the sum of $160m, the Africa Growing Together Fund has committed $50m, the Islamic Development Bank has committed $150m, while the International Fund for Agricultural Development committed $160m, bringing the total to $520m for the development of the project in Nigeria.

“He gave 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.”

Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the selected states were based on an assessment of their state of readiness, adding that other states would be selected to participate in subsequent phases.

Ahmed disclosed that the Federal Capital Territory tops the list of beneficiaries.

The minister said the FCT administration was fully committed to the success of the project, adding that it would facilitate the development of satellite towns and rural communities, create jobs and employment, enhance the security of lives and property, generate wealth, and improve governance outcomes.

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