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AfDB okays $210m for Nigeria’s agro-industrial processing zones

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, has said the bank will loan $210 million to Nigeria for special agro-industrial processing zones across the country.

The loan, approved by the bank’s Board of Directors, will help to unlock the country’s agricultural sector and impact the lives of millions of people in Africa’s most populous country.

Adesina, who disclosed this in a statement, said the loan would also assist in promoting industrialisation in the country through strategic development of crops and livestock

He said the credit facility would co-finance Phase 1 of the Nigeria Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone Programme, noting that the Phase 1 of the project would target seven Nigerian states and the country’s Federal Capital Territory.

Adesina added that the project would support Nigeria’s efforts to raise agricultural productivity, promote investment, create wealth and jobs, and transform rural areas into corridors of economic prosperity.

Noting that the first phase would be implemented with co-financing from other partners in $538.05 million cash, he said: “A $210 million loan approved by the African Development Bank’s Board of Directors on Monday could impact the lives of millions of people in Africa’s most populous country. The loan will co-finance Phase 1 of the Nigeria Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone Programme. The program will help to unlock Nigeria’s agriculture sector potential. It will promote industrialisation through the development of strategic crops and livestock.

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

phase of the programme is not government-driven, but he expressed satisfaction with the way the Federal and state governments showed a strong commitment because they had to give the land and make sure that all the regulations, as well as incentives, were provided.

“This first phase of the programme is not government-driven. It is government-enabled and private sector-led. That is the critical way in which you have structural transformation of agriculture. It is impressive to see a strong commitment from the Nigerian government – a very strong commitment from the Nigerian Minister of Finance and from all of the state governments because they have to give the land, they make sure that all the regulations and incentives are provided,” he stressed.

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