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    Tuesday, February 6, 2024

    AfDB Set to Begin Disbursement of $540m SAPZs Fund

    All is set for the African Development Bank, AfDB, to commence the disbursement of $540 million to the first phase of states in Nigeria for the development of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs).

    This is just as Vice President Kashim Shettima called for immediate action, saying it is time for the government and its development partners to walk the talk.

    As part of moves by the Nigerian government and the bank to ensure food security in the country, three states are to benefit from phase one of the development of processing zones, including Oyo, Kaduna and Cross River, while others are to get theirs as soon as they are through with documentation.

     Senior Special Adviser on Industrialization to the AfDB President, Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, disclosed this yesterday when a delegation of the bank and that of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) presented their separate reports on the status of projects being executed in Nigeria to Vice President Kashim Shettima at the Presidential Villa.

    Making AfDB’s presentation to the Vice President, Oyelaran-Oyeyinka in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Communication, Office of the Vice President, Stanley Nkwocha, said, “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 project 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.

    “We raised $540,000,000 in catalytic funding and we expect every state to find a partner that will bring equity and join up with them. It is a government-enabled project but private-sector driven.”

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