By Chioma Iruke
The Nigerian Government has expressed overwhelming support for an initiative to create Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ).
At a high-level briefing session, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed, reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to put in place enabling policies and incentives to attract private sector investment in the Zones, to ensure successful implementation.
Director-General of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Nigeria Country Department, Lamin Barrow said the zones would be rolled out in 18 African countries, including Nigeria.
“The Bank and its development partners are mobilizing $520 million to co-finance the first phase of the programme in Nigeria, be implemented in phases across six geo-political zones,” he said.
Barrow said all 36 States in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory would be eligible to participate in the SAPZ programme.
Senior Adviser on Industrialisation to the President of the AfDB, Prof. Oyebanji Oyeleran-Oyeyinka said, “the zone model is an explicit industrialization strategy to transform poor rural spaces into zones of prosperity, stem rural-urban migration, end human insecurity induced by herders-farmers clashes, and provide employment to Nigerian youth.”