AfDB To Disburse $540m For Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones In Nigeria

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News in Brief:
– The AfDB is set to disburse $540 million for Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones in Nigeria, aiming to boost food security and economic growth.
– Three states will receive initial funding, with 27 more eligible based on preparedness and adherence to criteria.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is poised to release $540 million to support the development of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) in Nigeria. The move is aimed at boosting food security and economic growth.

Senior Special Adviser on Industrialisation to the AfDB president, Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka made this announcement during a meeting with Vice President Kashim Shettima. He added that the project aligns with both the Nigerian government’s and AfDB’s goals of fostering sustainable agricultural development.

Meantime, three states — Oyo, Kaduna, and Cross River — are set to receive the first tranche of disbursements in this initial phase. However, additional states will follow upon the completion of necessary documentation.

The AfDB plans to implement the first phase in seven states; Cross River, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Ogun, and Oyo, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). However, Oyelaran-Oyeyinka revealed that Ogun state found a partner for the project and will not partake in the loan, which will now be divided among the other six.

He explained, “the SAPZ initiative aims to transform rural areas into economic hubs by harnessing the potential of commercial agriculture and food processing.” He also reiterated the project’s focus on inclusivity and sustainability.

AfDB eligibility criteria for states and private sector participation

Yet, with the high demand for such projects in other states, the bank says it will prioritise based on a show preparedness by meeting its eligibility criteria. “We have set up eligibility criteria for the states and to rank them. We expect them to have a feasibility report, environmental impact study and a commitment to counterpart funding,” Oyelaran-Oyeyinka said.

Ultimately, the $540 million funding is intended as catalytic funding. This requires participating states to secure private sector partners for joint investments. While seven states are currently involved in the first phase, 27 additional states will benefit from the second phase.

This initiative highlights the AfDB’s commitment to partnering with African nations to address food security challenges and promote economic development through innovative and collaborative approaches.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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