AfDB begins disbursement of $540 million Agro-Industrial Funds nationwide
African Development Bank (ADfB) has commenced the first phase of the disbursement of $540 million Agro-Industrial Funds for the development of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) in the country.
The Senior Special Adviser on Industrialization to the AfDB President, Prof. 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 Vice President Kashim Shettima at the Presidential Villa.
The fund Is part of the Nigerian government’s effort to ensure food security in the country.
According to Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, 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.
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 primary objective is to support inclusive and sustainable agro-industrial development in Nigeria. The phase one of the project is at the point of disbursement. Kaduna, Oyo and Cross River States are all in the process of receiving disbursements and we hope that the other states can speed up with their documentation so that we can fast-track these states.
“We raised $540,000,000 in catalytic funding and we expect every state to find a partner that will bring equity and join up with them. It is a government-enabled project but private-sector driven”
In addition, the SSA to the President of the AfDB highlighted that the inaugural phase of SAPZ implementation spans seven states Cross River, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Ogun, and Oyo alongside the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“Ogun state found a partner for the project and decided not to take the loan. We are basically going to distribute the loan to the other states. The next thing is preparation for phase two with 27 states. The demand is enormous but we have to prioritise those who move fast.
“We have set up eligibility criteria for the states and to rank them. We expect them to have a feasibility report, environmental impact study and a commitment to counterpart funding,” Oyelaran-Oyeyinka added.
Earlier, Nairametrics reported that the African Development Bank (AfDB), alongside the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, said that they have voted $1 billion to further deliver special agro-industrial processing zones in 24 States of Nigeria.
The $1 billion pledge is in addition to an initial $520 million voted by the development partners for the development of eight special agro-industrial processing zones in Nigeria.
Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank Group disclosed the pledges to the Nigerian agribusiness at the Norman Borlaug International Dialogue, World Food Prize 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa, United States of America.
According to Dr Adesina, the decision to pump such huge funds into Nigeria’s agribusiness was part of the resolve to develop Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) in 13 countries.
“We are investing heavily in the development of SAPZs to support the development of agricultural value chains, food processing and value addition, enabling infrastructure and logistics to promote local, regional, and international trade in food.
“The African Development Bank Group is investing $853 million in the development of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones, and it has mobilized additional co-financing of $661 million, for a total commitment of $1.5 billion. We are deploying effective partnerships at scale.
We are currently implementing 25 Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones in 13 countries,” Adeshina said.
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