14 sites have been marked by the African Development Bank (AfDB) for a proposed Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) in Nigeria.
Special Adviser on Industrialisation to AfDB’s President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja today August 6, 2019.
According to the report, Oyelaran-Oyeyinka said the 14 identified sites cuts across the six geopolitical zones of the country to ensure inclusiveness which was to ensure that the SAPZs were spread across the country.
“The Zones identified are in the six geopolitical zones of North-West, North-East, North-Central, South-West, South-East and South-South.
“How quickly each of these zones moves now shows how ready and determined such area is in this project,’’ he said.
The adviser explained that after meeting with the investors in April, a report put together on the project was formalised and submitted to the government.
The AfDB had met with investors in agricultural products and processing earlier in April to take stock of their current assets with a view to getting support from the bank when necessary and that the bank received feedbacks that the government was interested in the project.
According to him, the SAPZs is a framework to ensure that the location of processing facilities are within the areas of agricultural resources.
Oyelaran-Oyeyinka said each part of Nigeria was blessed with different crops that were viable to change the economic status of the country positively.
He added that the idea was also to bring key anchor investors together as well as the smallholder farmers to work in synergy for the successful implementation of the project.
Oyelaran-Oyeyinka said that all smallholder farmers would be organised into cooperatives and Agro-growers groups to boost their capacity to become suppliers to the processing industries.
The adviser said the SAPZs would generate employment, bridge the gap of inequality, and raise the income of rural dwellers as well as secondary towns.
The project will also eradicate mass poverty, reduce rural-urban inequities, achieve food security and also eliminate malnutrition.
A total of 11 Chinese companies were present in Nigeria for a two-day meeting to interface with local investors for possible collaboration to fast-track the project.
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