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FCT, 7 states to enjoy $520m donor fund for agric zones

Sep, 2021 | By Austin Elemue | ||

Federal Capital Territory (FCT) tops the list of beneficiary states from among a field of eight expected to profit from the development of first phase of the $520million Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs). The mammoth scheme will see four international development partners commit the princely sum in selected states across Nigeria. The partners are slated to officially flag off the project in the country before the end of 2021.

The other states are Kaduna, Kwara, Kano, Imo, Cross River, Ogun and Oyo, based on an assessment of their state of readiness. Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, disclosed these while speaking during the FMFBNP/AfDB SAPZ High-Level virtual discussions last week.

The development partners, as disclosed earlier by Senior Special Advisor on Industrialization to President of Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Professor Banji Oyeyinka, are AfDB, $160 million; the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF), $50 million; Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), $150 million; International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), $160 million, bringing the total to $520 million for the development of the project in Nigeria.

Lauding the scheme, Mrs. Ahmed explained that the project aligns perfectly with President Muhammadu Buhari's diversification agenda. Her words; "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 FCT Administration (FCTA), FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, said the Administration was fully committed to the success of the project, adding 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.

The Minister of State added that the Administration has submitted the SLPZ as a flagship project to President Buhari and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) as part of the mandatory Performance Delivery Report, since February 2020. Dr. Aliyu said: "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."

Aliyu 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 Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) and Bwari Area Council respectively and the Abuja Technology Village.

News Update

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, disclosed these while speaking during the FMFBNP/AfDB SAPZ High-Level virtual discussions last week.

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In a recent interview with Abuja Digest Weekly's Sennen Udoh, Mr. Ekpenyong, was a journalist's delight to behold as he volunteered consultancy counseling on effective mentoring on education, moral upbringing, and sports/other talents.

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