FG, AfDB Kick-Off SAPZ across Six Geo-Political Zones

The Federal Government of Nigeria in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB) has commenced the setting up of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) across Nigeria’s six geo-political zones in the country.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, who made the disclosure on Monday at an Inception Workshop in Abuja to mark the take-off of the project, said the plan was to develop the zones within a period of three years.

Nanono further disclosed that the project was being developed with the support and collaboration of financiers like the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and African Export-Import Bank.

Core implementing agencies also involved in the project include the Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation, the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural lending (NIRSAL), the Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture

According to Nanono, the project aims at developing competitive processing capacity through the promotion of private sector investment enabled by investment in public goods, policy interventions and the provision of desirable support services and skills development.

He added that the zones will boost value addition to agriculture, improve competitiveness and, therefore, present substantial potential for the sustainable economic development of Nigeria.

He further noted that the project would reduce food imports, assure food security and nutrition via low and stable prices, boost revenue from agricultural exports, create wealth for rural farming communities and create new sustainable jobs, especially for the youths.

The processing zones would focus on priority commodities that top the list of food imports into Nigeria.

This includes commodities that have the potential to provide quality employment to a large number of people, especially youths; reduce urban and rural poverty, and lift 100 million people of out of poverty.

It will also capitalise on commodities that have the most potential for boosting export revenue through agro-processing value addition and will revive past, valuable agro-industrial assets.

The zones are to be built around Brownfields, that is, existing or programmed projects with very good catalytic potential, or areas with existing desirable infrastructure.

They will take maximum advantage of relevant on-going development programmes of the Federal and States Governments such as roads, rails, power, and irrigation systems, among others.

Over the past 10 months, the Federal Government and AfDB have worked with a wide range of agro-industrial development stakeholders, including some state governments, agribusinesses, departments and agencies of government as well as local and international investors.

These efforts are to help towards creating a road map for the development of SAPZ in Nigeria.


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