Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone Initiative to go live soon in Nigeria, says AfDB

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Uba Group

Akinwunmi Adesina, President, African Development Bank has said the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone Initiative of the Bank will soon become operational in Nigeria.

Adesina made the disclosure when he received four Nigerian executive governors and the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority at the Bank’s Abidjan head office recently.

The Bank President invited the Governors and the NSIA head to discuss what will be the rapid rollout of the first phase of the Bank’s Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones programme in their states.

He said the African Development Bank set up the flagship SAPZ programme to support inclusive and sustainable agro-industrial development in countries across the continent.

As Adesina puts it “the special agro-industrial processing zones will be game changers for agriculture in Nigeria. They will provide world class infrastructure to support food agribusinesses to locate close to zones of production, develop competitive value chains supported by logistic systems that will drive food processing and value addition. The SAPZs will help create massive wealth and jobs in rural areas and turn rural areas away from being zones of economic misery to zones of economic prosperity.”

Governors Dapo Abiodun of Ogun state (link is external), Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai of Kaduna State (link is external) and Hope Uzodinma of Imo State (link is external) joined NSIA managing director Uche Orji (link is external) and Adesina for an in-depth discussion of how the programme will help realize development and add economic value in the states.

The discussion underscored the important underlying role of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority as an honest broker of the program, as well as the commitment of all the governors to it. A communique signed by all parties affirmed all parties’ joint commitment and acknowledgement that the SAPZ programme was one that would be used to transform agriculture quickly and at scale across Nigeria. Also attending the meeting by video link from the Nigerian capital, Abuja, was the country’s minister for Agriculture Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar.