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, Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, disclosed this on Monday 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 the Vice-President at the Presidential Villa.

Making AfDB’s presentation to the Vice President, Oyelaran-Oyeyinka 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 SSA to the AfDB President further explained that the first phase of SAPZs is being implemented in seven states, namely Cross River, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Ogun, and Oyo, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

In another report on the visit to the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited as earlier commissioned by the Vice President, the Head of Investment and Technology Promotion Office at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Abimbola Olufore Wycliffe, told VP Shettima that the recovery plan for the company would include revitalising through rehabilitation, modernization and expansion.

She further called for the reinvestment of profits from each SBU in ASC to reduce the burden of incremental investment on the Nigerian economy, even as she recommended the enhancement of foreign exchange earnings and contribution to local economic development in the country.

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