The African Development Bank (AfDB) is set to disburse $540 million to kickstart the development of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) in Nigeria.
AfDB’s spokesperson, Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, speaking 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, said the initial phase, according to him, covers seven states: Cross River, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Ogun, and Oyo, along with the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Ogun State, however, opted to find a partner independently.
In the first phase of the project, three states; Oyo, Kaduna, and Cross River, will receive immediate funding. Other states are expected to follow suit once they finalise their documentation.
He also said the next stage will focus on 27 states, adding that the demand is enormous but it has to prioritise those who move fast.
The SAPZs project aims to transform rural areas into economic hubs by harnessing the potential of commercial agriculture and food processing.