AfDB states benefits of special agro-industrial processing zones in Nigeria
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has listed the gains of the establishment of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) in Nigeria, saying that they will lead the country to prosperity.
President of AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, gave the assertion yesterday at an investment forum in Abuja where Nigeria’s SAPZ was launched and witnessed by Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh.
According to him, the broad objectives for the establishment of SAPZs, are, among other gains, “to raise income, eliminate unemployment, especially youth joblessness, reduce food import bill to the barest minimum and reduce prices of high-value food products.”
Adesina, represented at the forum by Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, his Special Adviser on Industrialisation, who is co-ordinating the establishment of agro-industrial processing zones and industrial policy in several African countries, stated that prosperity will be attained for Nigeria following the establishment of the SAPZs by raising productivity of agro-industry sub-sectors: agriculture, forestry, livestock and fisheries production and through value addition to these materials by way of agro-industrial processing.
“We want to promote private local and foreign investments in agribusiness, increase the contribution of the agriculture sector to GDP, foster wealth and employment creation, especially jobs for youths. We will bring basic infrastructure to rural areas, link small-holder producers and SMEs in priority value chains. The SAPZ, we believe, will lead to a doubling or tripling of the GDP of rural areas in a way that bridges the rural-urban divide,” he said.
However, with the launch of the SAPZs in Nigeria, Adesina said destiny beckons to Nigeria to return to the sustainable path of manufacturing production by local investors embracing the scheme to act as an anchor for foreign investors to come and set up processing industries in the country.
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