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FCTA earmarks N5bn counterpart fund for agro-industrial zone take-off

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By Ben Adoga

The FCT Administration has assured that it is ready for the take-off of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ) in livestock production. The Administration has earmarked the sum of N5 billion counterpart fund for the project in its 2021 capital project.

These assurances were given by Chairman, Project Implementation Committee, Prof. Muhammad Usman at the stakeholder’s engagement.

Also, the African Development Bank, AfDB confirmed that a total sum of US$500 million have been set aside for the scheme nationwide where FCT Administration can draw from.

During the FCTS/IFAD-SAPZ appraisal mission to FCT, it was revealed that the FCT Administration has developed a strategic implementation plan for the next three years.

Usman, 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 modern livestock production for national food nutrition security by making available quality and price competitive beef/dairy products for local and export markets. He said the scheme 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) and 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.”

In her presentation, Monde Nyambe, 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 actualisation of the project, noting that the FCT Administration could draw from the $500 million earmarked for the scheme.

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