The African Development Bank (AfDB) has initiated the initial phase of distributing $540 million in Agro-Industrial Funds to support the establishment of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) within the nation.
Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, the Senior Special Adviser on Industrialization to the AfDB President, revealed this information on Monday during a presentation of separate reports by the bank and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) delegation.
The reports outlined the progress of projects in Nigeria and were presented to Vice President Kashim Shettima at the Presidential Villa. This fund is part of the Nigerian government’s commitment to ensuring food security in the country.
Oyelaran-Oyeyinka stated that the first phase of processing zone development would benefit three states, namely Oyo, Kaduna, and Cross River. Other states will receive their allocations once documentation processes are completed.
During the presentation to the Vice President, Oyelaran-Oyeyinka emphasized that the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) is an African Development Bank initiative designed to transform rural areas into thriving economic zones. The primary goal is to leverage the potential of commercial agriculture and food production to foster prosperity.
“The primary objective is to 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 with their documentation so that we can fast-track these states.
“We raised $540,000,000 in catalytic funding and we expect every state to find a partner that will bring equity and join up with them. It is a government-enabled project but private-sector driven”
In addition, the SSA to the President of the AfDB highlighted that the inaugural phase of SAPZ implementation spans seven states Cross River, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Ogun, and Oyo alongside the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“Ogun state found a partner for the project and decided not to take the loan. We are basically going to distribute the loan to the other states. The next thing is preparation for phase two with 27 states. The demand is enormous but we have to prioritise those who move fast.
“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 added.