By Joyce Remi- Babayeju
The African Development Bank has reaffirmed its commitment and support with the FCTA towards establishment of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ), in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, in support of the FCTA’s efforts.
Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, of the African Development Bank, Dr. Beth Dunford made this commitment in Abuja when she led a delegation of senior Directors of the Bank on a visit to the site of the SAPZ hub in Paikon-Kore Grazing Reserve in Gwagwalada Area Council of the FCT.
This was contained in a press release signed by SA Media to FCT Minister of State, Austine Elemue made available to Daybreak.
According to the release Dunford expressed satisfaction with the state of preparedness on the part of the FCT Administration and noted that the establishment of Special Industrial Processing Zones was important for transforming Nigerian agricultural sector and the economy.
She said, “I am really impressed with what is on ground. I think we know that the Special AgroIndustrial Processing Zones are incredibly important for really transforming Nigerian agriculture.”
“And to really transform the economy, we all know we have to start with agriculture and this is a way to really bring together the businesses, the infrastructure that we need to fuel the businesses, to add value to provide more jobs, more opportunities and to really turn the small farmers in this area into commercial farmers to improve their livelihood opportunities.”
“And what I see here today translates to mean that you all have put all of your efforts and your brains and your time, and your expertise into really building this amazing effort. So, we in the African Development Bank are really excited about partnering with the government of Nigeria to make this happen, to make this happen quickly on the continent.”
She noted government’s commitment has shown that Nigeria could be a model for the rest of the continent to transform, assuring that the management team of the bank is working together to drive this effort to fruition.
Chairman of the ministerial committee on SAPZ, Prof. Muhammad Usman, commended the African Development Bank for it’s commitment towards the establishment of the project in the FCT, and hinted that the administration has committed resources to provide complementary counterpart support to ensure a smooth take-off of the project.
Usman said; “this project will help us to achieve two developmental objectives; one of which is to partner with the private sector to ensure that we create jobs for the youth, and the second is to help us build the economy to lift people out of poverty.
“In doing this, the SAPZ occupies a very important pride of place because agriculture is the mainstay of our people, and the partnership will add value to the communities.”
Daybreak reports that four development partners had committed a total sum of $520 million for the development of the first phase of Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones, SAPZ, in some selected states across Nigeria.