Written by Sarah NEGEDU

FCTA earmarks N5bn for agro-industrial zones

The FCT Administration said it has set aside the sum of N5 billion as counterpart funds for the actualization of the Special Agro-industrial Processing Zone, SAPZ, in the nation's capital.

Chairman, Project Implementation Committee, Prof. Muhammad Usman, who made this disclosure at a stakeholder engagement of AfDB/IFAD-SAPZ appraisal mission to FCT, said the administration has made provisions in the 2021 budget for the project.

Prof. Usman also revealed that the FCT Administration has developed a strategic implementation plan for the next 3 years of this administration.

The committee chairman who described the project as a game changer in project development in the Federal Capital Territory, however, noted that the SAPZ was one of the strategies to deliver on Mr. President's plan to create jobs for the youth and to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next nine years.

 

Speaking further on the benefits of the project, Usman stated that the SAPZ when fully established would improve modernise livestock productivity for national food nutrition security by making available quality and price competitive beef/dairy products for local and export markets, stressing that the project would resettle pastoralists, decongest the FCT of roaming cattle and mitigate farmer/herder conflicts.

According to him, “The SAPZ is essentially one of our strategies to deliver on Mr. President's plan to create jobs for the youth and to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next nine years. We plan to complement this with the production in the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) of the federal government while incentivising as many mult-national corporations with interest in livestock and dairy production.

“Consequently, we have constituted a multi-sectoral, inter-agency and multi-disciplinary SAPZ project development team for FCTA that has worked through the COVID-19 lockdown period, to prepare draft project implementation checklists, design layouts, and infrastructure provision cost estimates.”

Usman, noted that the administration has aligned with the federal government policies and programmes on the ease of doing business, even as he stressed that the administration has commenced stakeholders’ engagement to achieve top 3 subnational ranking at the end of 2021.

In her presentation, Monde Nyambe, the Task Team Lead of Africa Development Bank, AfDB, said the establishment of SAPZ was one of the plans by the bank to achieve five cardinal objectives to include power and light up Africa, feed Africa, industrialise Africa, integrate Africa and improve quality of life of Africans by using the small holder farmers.

She, however, expressed the commitment of the bank for the actualization of the project.

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