By Stanley Onyekwere
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) tops the list of beneficiaries of the first phase of Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) multi-million dollars development project in Nigeria.
Four development partners have committed a total sum of $520 million for the development of the first phase of Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) in some selected states across Nigeria.
Other States selected to benefit from the first phase of the SAPZ establishment project in Nigeria include; Kaduna, Kwara, Kano, Imo, Cross River, Ogun and Oyo, based on an assessment of their state of readiness.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, made the disclosure during the recent FMFBNP/AfDB SAPZ High-Level virtual discussions.
According to her, “This project aligns with Mr. President’s diversification agenda, which has the practicality of improving economic growth.
“ The effectiveness of the SAPZ has become essential considering the impact of the COVID-19 across the world, including its impact in Nigeria”.
Speaking on the preparedness of the FCT Administration, FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, said the Administration was fully committed to the success of the project.
Aliyu noted that the project would facilitate the development of satellite towns and rural communities, create jobs and employment, enhance security of lives and property, generate wealth, and improve governance outcomes.
She also stated that the Administration has submitted the SLPZ as a flagship project to Mr. President and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) as part of the mandatory Performance Delivery Report, since February 2020.
According to her, “We are already implementing our 2020-2023 Strategic Plan with the SLPZ as an essential pillar for delivering on Mr. President’s plan to create jobs for the youth and to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by June 2029.
“We are striving to complement this with participation in the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) of the Federal Government while incentivising as many multinational corporations with interest in livestock and dairy production as are willing.
“We have constituted a multi-sectoral, inter-agency and multidisciplinary Ministerial SLPZ Project Development Team (PDT) for the FCTA that has worked with the hardworking AfDB and FMARD consulting teams to prepare the Project Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) report now disclosed”.
The Minister also stated that the Administration has earmarked the Paikon-Kore grazing reserve in Gwagwalada area council to host the hub while associated transformation centres are to be sited in Karshi and Kawu grazing reserves in AMAC and Bwari Area Council, respectively, and the Abuja Technology Village.
Earlier in a remark, the Senior Special Advisor to the President of the Africa Development Bank on industrialization, Prof. Banji Oyeyinka, revealed that the AfDB has commited the sum of $160 million, the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) has committed $50 million, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has committed $150 million, while the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) committed $160 million, bringing the total to $520 million for the development of the project in Nigeria.
He, therefore, gave the assurance of the commitment and readiness of the bank and other partners to officially flag off the project in Nigeria before the end of 2021.