AFDB, IsDB, IFAD partner with FG
Kano, Imo, Kaduna, Cross River, Kwara, Oyo, Ogun & FCT benefit in first phase
The Vice President meets with the President of the Islamic Development Bank in the Presidential Villa.
With the launch of the Special Agro-industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ) program, Nigeria will be able to eradicate food insecurity in less than a decade, while dramatically increasing agricultural export earnings and creating millions of lucrative agro-industrial jobs and opportunities for its citizens.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, revealed this on Monday, when he represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the Official Launch of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones in Nigeria, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja.
Prof. Osinbajo remarked that the inauguration of the SAPZ initiative marked a “significant turning point in our agricultural odyssey.”
The Vice President stated, “If the Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones Program achieves its goals, and we have no doubt that it will, then in less than a decade we will deal a fatal blow to food insecurity, create millions of well-paying agro-industrial jobs and opportunities, and dramatically increase agricultural export earnings.”
According to him, the Programme was “a clear blueprint for the industrialization of agriculture, the deliberate establishment of value chains in the products that farmers cultivate, and a pathway to the net exportation of their produce.”
The Vice President of Nigeria emphasized the significance of the SAPZ program by stating, “The SAPZ program is now a critical component of our agricultural strategy, which is to accelerate the industrialization of our agricultural sector in order to be ahead of our constraints in providing food, nutrition, and wealth to the largest population on our continent.”
“The Nigeria Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones programme (The SAPZ programme) is a government-enabled and private sector-led initiative that would mobilize private sector investment for the development of value chains for selected priority crops and livestock in the Participating States. “Nigeria will undertake the initial phase of the SAPZ initiative with co-financing from the African Development Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the Islamic Development Bank,” he added.
Noting that the SAPZ program was recently approved by the Federal Executive Council, the Vice President stated that the program “is a major cross-cutting value chain investment effort led by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in accordance with the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy of the Federal Government to encourage agro-industrialization for private sector development.”
The SAPZ programme is a five-year programme being implemented by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), state governments and private investors in seven (7) participating states (Kano, Imo, Kaduna, Cross River, Kwara, Oyo and Ogun) and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
In the first phase, the programme is expected to achieve significant milestones, such as reducing the country’s current food import bill through Import Substitution, increasing revenue from agricultural exports, creating wealth for rural farming communities, and creating new sustainable jobs, particularly for women and youth.
In addition, the program will “halt rural-urban migration, enhance rural livelihoods, revitalize stranded public and private sector-funded assets, and significantly enhance food security,” he said.
SAPZ will also “substantially improve the business environment for agro-industrial processors by increasing their productivity and facilitating value addition for inclusive, adaptable economic growth.
“In the next phase, we will bring on board an additional 18 states,” the President said, adding that the SAPZs will also benefit from two positive developments: technology and innovation, and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).” The Vice President added that the SAPZs will also benefit from two positive developments: technology and innovation, and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The Vice President stated that the AfCFTA will allow Nigeria to become the region’s breadbasket and agribusiness center.
“This confluence of resources and opportunities bodes well for the enormous impact we anticipate from the SAPZs. The functioning of the SAPZs would also leverage other Federal and State projects, such as the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP: 2019-2028) and the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP),” he explained.
Prof. Osinbajo elaborated on the significance of agriculture to Nigeria’s economy by stating, “The agricultural sector was instrumental in pulling our economy out of recession and is the largest employer of labor, so we must incentivize agriculture through greater investments and an enabling environment for private sector participation, and advance our national agro-industrialization drive.”
The Federal Government of Nigeria is extremely proud of the strategic partnerships it has developed over the years with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) in order to build our country’s long-term agricultural prosperity. And we appreciate their unwavering support over the years.”
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank Group, also provided remarks (given electronically) during the event.
The head of the African Development Bank (AFDB) stated that despite Africa’s vast agricultural potential, the continent still has enormous hurdles in providing its food demands, as 283 million people go hungry annually.
Agriculture is essential to the survival of every nation. A nation’s primary responsibility is to feed its people. Food is a vital human right, he said, adding that the African Development Bank is helping Nigeria produce more wheat, rice, and maize through Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT).
“This assistance would enable Nigeria to cultivate 900,000 hectares of rice, 250,000 hectares of wheat, and 107,000 hectares of maize by next year,” he said.
IFAD and Islamic Development Bank representatives, as well as the Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade; the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar; the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. (Mrs.) Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed; and the Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Dr. Otunna Niyi Adebayo, among other senior government and regional representatives, delivered remarks at
In a separate development on Monday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo stated that the relationship between Nigeria and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) was beneficial, stating that the bank “understands the nuances of countries in the global South and is therefore able to be more creative and sensitive to our needs when considering requests from us.”
Using the funding request for the Nigerian-Moroccan Pipeline project as an illustration, the vice president stated, “if given all the considerations today with the global North Development Finance Institutions, we (Nigeria) will not be considered favorably for the facility due to all the talk about defunding fossil fuel projects.” However, it is evident that we cannot exist without fossil fuels for at least the next several decades, and we possess fossil fuels as a natural resource that is available not only for industry but also for cooking.
“I believe we are fortunate to have IsDB, as they are present… If we are subjected to the policies of the DFIs in the global north, we will be in grave trouble. Prof. Osinbajo added, “Therefore, I’d like to thank you once again and to emphasize that the relationship between the Bank and Nigeria is strong and one that we highly value.”
Mr. Muhammed Al Jasser, President and Chairman of the IsDB, stated earlier in his remarks that Nigeria is one of the bank’s most valued partners and that the connection between Nigeria and the IsDB will continue to strengthen.
Mr. Jaseer reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to supporting the Federal Government’s efforts to diversify the economy, particularly through agricultural industrialisation.
Dr. Mansur Mukhtar, a Nigerian-born vice president of the bank, accompanied him to the meeting. Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, and Hajia Ramatu Tijjani, the FCT Minister of State, were also present at the meeting.
Senior Special Assistant to the President for Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande
24 October 2022, Office of the Vice President
AFDB, IsDB, IFAD partner with FG