30 March 2021 By Remi Johnson
The Federal Capital Territory Administration in a bid to turn the fortunes of agro business around in the territory, says it has earmarked 5billion naira as counterpart fund in the 2021 budget for actualization of a Special Agro-industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ) in livestock production.
Chairman, Project Implementation Committee, Professor Muhammad Usman made this known during a stakeholders meeting with the Africa Development Bank /IFAD-SAPZ and partners appraisal mission in Abuja.
Professor Usman explained that the present Administration had developed a strategic implementation plan for the next 3 years towards the creation of jobs for youths to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
According to him, the SAPZ project when fully established would improve modernised livestock farming for national food nutrition security, make available quality and price competitive beef/dairy products for local and export markets, resettle pastoralists and mitigate farmer/herder conflicts.
“What the FCTA is committed to is the provision of counterpart resources that will allow for internal processes needed for the implementation… Such as compensation of the land acquired for the grazing reserves,…maintenance of facilities cutting across 5 budget lines…the Administration is commitng up with 5billion naira as counterpart fund for the activities.” Prof Usman explained
He also hinted that a multi-sectoral, inter-agency and multi-disciplinary SAPZ project development team for FCTA had worked throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period.
According to Professor Usman, the move is in line with the FCT Administration’s drive to promote the ease of doing business.
He said the administration had also commenced a stakeholders engagement to achieve top 3 subnational ranking at the end of 2021.
On her part, the Task Team Leader for the SAPZ, Monde Nyambe,who said the Africa Development bank, through the Ministry of Finance had concluded plans to create an enabling environment for Agriculture to thrive in Africa, added that the bank is expected to release 500 million dollars in phases towards the actualization of the project in the territory.
Her words: “All the States through Federal Ministry of Finance requested the bank to finance the project to the tune of 500 million dollars… It will be phased out…so far, we have between us and our partners released 250 million dollars for the project in 2021”
Nyambe said the project would boost socio- economic activities, make provision for power and light up Africa, feed Africa, industrialise Africa, integrate Africa, improve quality of life of Africans as well as assist the rural farmers to address post harvest losses.