The African Development Bank (AfDB) is set to initiate the disbursement of $540 million for the first phase of developing Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) in Nigeria. Vice President Kashim Shettima has urged swift action, emphasising the need for the government and its development partners to turn their intentions into reality.
In a bid to enhance food security, Oyo, Kaduna, and Cross River are the initial beneficiaries in the first phase, with additional states to follow once documentation is completed. Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Senior Special Adviser on Industrialisation to the AfDB President, revealed this during a presentation to Vice President Shettima.
“The Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) is an initiative of the African Development Bank that is aimed at turning the rural landscape into economic zones of prosperity and harnessing the power of commercial agriculture and food.”
“The primary objective is to support inclusive and sustainable agro-industrial development in Nigeria. The phase one of the projects is at the point of disbursement. Kaduna, Oyo and Cross River States are all in the process of receiving disbursements and we hope for the other states, they can speed up with their documentation so that we can fast-track these states,” explained Oyelaran-Oyeyinka.
He highlighted the collaborative nature of the project, emphasising that it is government-enabled but driven by the private sector. The first phase involves seven states and the Federal Capital Territory, with plans for a second phase covering 27 states.
In a separate report on Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited, Abimbola Olufore Wycliffe from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) outlined a recovery plan that includes rehabilitation, modernization, and expansion. Vice President Shettima stressed the need for immediate action, emphasising the importance of translating plans into tangible results to fulfil the vision set by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.