Bank loans

African Development Bank lends Nigeria $210m for Special Agro-Industrial Zones

A $210 million loan approved by the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) on Monday could impact the lives of millions of people in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country.

The loan will co-finance Phase 1 of Nigeria’s Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones Programme. The program will help unlock the potential of the Nigerian agricultural sector. It will promote industrialization through the development of strategic crops and livestock.

The African Development Bank’s financing for this program represents one of the Bank’s most ambitious operations in terms of scale and scope to date. It is made up of a loan from the African Development Bank of $160 million and a loan from the Africa Growing Together Fund of $50 million. Phase 1 of the project will target seven Nigerian states and the country’s Federal Capital Territory.

The project will support Nigeria’s efforts to increase agricultural productivity, promote investment, create wealth and jobs, and transform rural areas into corridors of economic prosperity. Its first phase will be implemented with co-financing from other partners amounting to $538.05 million.

“We have several million hectares of arable land available and we have embarked on the creation of special agriculture treatment zones across the country,” Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari told world leaders at the recent Summit on future investment initiative in Riyadh, ahead of the Bank’s board meeting on Monday. “We believe that these initiatives will make it easier for investors in agriculture,” Buhari added.

The special program of agro-industrial transformation zones should bring economic infrastructure to rural areas with high agricultural potential. These zones will attract investment from agro-industrialists and private entrepreneurs, contribute to the economic and social development of Nigeria and stem the rural exodus.

The project areas represent 19% of Nigeria’s total land mass and will benefit 50.4 million people. The states where the first phase of the program will be implemented were selected on the basis of a readiness criterion as well as the need to ensure a geographical balance between the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.

In addition to the African Development Bank financing for Phase 1 of the Nigerian project, the Islamic Development Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development will provide parallel co-financing. The Federal Government and Nigerian State Governments will contribute both in cash and in kind.

African Development Bank Group President Akinwumi Adesina said, “This first phase of the program is not government-led. It is government enabled and private sector led. This is the critical pathway through which you have the structural transformation of agriculture. It’s impressive to see a strong commitment from the Nigerian government – ​​a very strong commitment from the Nigerian finance minister and all the state governments because they have to give the land, they make sure that all the regulations and incentives are provided. ”

The African Development Bank’s Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones are a flagship of the Bank’s Feed Africa strategy. The Bank plans to establish these zones in 18 African countries, including Nigeria. The zones are designed to concentrate the production, processing, storage, transport and marketing of basic products – such as cotton or maize to increase productivity and competitiveness and reduce logistics costs.

The Bank’s Nigeria Country Office Managing Director, Lamin Barrow, said, “Phase 1 of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones Program in Nigeria will mobilize private sector investment in agro-industrial hubs and centers. agricultural transformation. It will affect some 1.5 million households as direct beneficiaries, with an objective of creating 400,000 direct jobs and up to 1.6 million indirect jobs.

Often planned near secondary towns, agro-industrial clusters are designed to revitalize peri-urban economies and create jobs for women, men and young people. It includes a $2 million budget for a gender action plan that will provide gender-sensitive guidelines for agribusiness centers, workshops for women-led agricultural cooperatives, and capacity building training. capacities for women, among other gender-focused priorities.

The African Development Bank’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Beth Dunford, said, “Fair employment and economic opportunity are cornerstones of the Bank’s work. This program will target at least 50% female participation. The Gender Equality Action Plan will help ensure that expanded lending to women is facilitated. »

The construction of the Phase 1 area in Nigeria is expected to increase the following value chain products:

Cross River State – cocoa, rice and cassava

Federal Capital Territory – cattle and dairy cattle

Imo State – cattle and dairy cattle

Kaduna State – tomato, corn and ginger

Kano State – rice, tomato, peanuts and sesame oil

Kwara State – livestock

Ogun State – cassava, rice, poultry and fishing

Oyo State – cassava, soybeans, rice

Watch the video on the potential of Special Agro-industrial processing zones

Advertisement


To learn more about the African Development Bank’s Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones Flagship Program, Click here (https://bit.ly/33nou0t).

Distributed by APO Group for the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group.

Support the integrity and credibility journalism of PREMIUM TIMES

Good journalism is very expensive. Yet only good journalism can guarantee the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy and a transparent government.

For free and continued access to the best investigative journalism in the country, we ask that you consider providing modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you help sustain relevant journalism and keep it free and accessible to everyone.

Make a donation


ANNOUNCEMENT TEXT: To advertise here . Call Willie on +2347088095401…





Announcement of the PT Mag campaign