The African Development Bank (AFDB) has onboarded over 20 Nigerian states for the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) program, a testament to the bank’s efforts in ensuring economic growth in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the AfDB’s Nigeria Department Country Director, Mr. Lamin Barrow, during his welcome remarks at the SAPZ Phase II Inception Workshop on Wednesday in Abuja.
In a significant development, Barrow’s disclosure comes almost a year after the Federal Government of Nigeria, in collaboration with the African Development Bank and co-financing partners including the Islamic Development Bank and IFAD, launched the first phase of the $538 million Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) program in October 2022.
The country director expressed his enthusiasm for the project, emphasizing that Nigeria’s SAPZ is the largest and most ambitious in the program. He noted that Phase II of the initiative is now fully operational, marking a substantial leap towards transforming Nigeria’s agricultural landscape.
“The SAPZ program’s success relies heavily on the support of state governments, and we call upon all state governors to rally behind this transformative project, as it promises immense benefits for their citizens,” Barrow urged.
He also acknowledged the importance of learning from the experiences of Phase I to avoid repeating any mistakes, ensuring that SAPZ Phase II progresses smoothly.